Blogs, portfolios, and feedback (oh my!)

This is a work in progress, as most of my stuff is, but here is my Assessment Philosophy for the 2011-2012 school year that I’ll be sharing with students and their parents.

Some key new features I’m trying:

  • student blog posts will receive only feedback, not grades
  • the spreadsheets I used last year will be editable by both myself and the student for each to add comments
  • students will create portfolios of their work by selecting and analyzing their best evidence of learning
  • portfolios will be organized and assessed using standards-based criteria
  • the only letter grades used will be assigned when portfolios are assessed at the ends of grading periods

Some things still to work out:

Feel free to leave suggestions for improvements/implementation in the comments and please snag a copy for yourself if you want to borrow any of it.

4 thoughts on “Blogs, portfolios, and feedback (oh my!)

  1. Michael Rees

    Awesome. If physics somehow isn’t in the schedule I get on Friday…well, let’s just say I have a few ideas stewing about how to fix that situation.

    So, one clarification:

    Will the spreadsheets contain the 4, 3.5, etc. AND the comments, or just the comments added by you and us? If the latter, then how will the “conjunctive system of grade determination” be implemented?

    By the way, I loved reading through the assessment policy. I think that could be very effective in helping students who are new to the system understand it.

    Hope this year goes well,


    1. Chris Ludwig Post author

      My plan is to not have the numbers at all in the sheet, but instead where I used to put a number, say under the Biochemistry content standard, if a student submitted a biochem-related post, I will instead put my comments right in that box. So instead of having some general comment (Great!) way over on the right side of the spreadsheet, I’ll have some direct comment about why or why not I think they showed understanding of biochem (or whatever).

      As for the conjunctive grading (sounds like an eye disease, I know. Not my term) that will happen at the ends of the quarters/semesters when students self-select their best work and put it into a more formal online portfolio. Only then will I get judgmental and give out letter grades, which should be pretty obvious by that point anyway.

      1. Stefani

        Strict curves sound great, but what do you do when 1/2 of the class screos 90% on a state-mandated, multiple-choice test? Sort by “A” to “C” alphabetically? Maybe random grade assignment using a dartboard? Personally, I think the instructor deserves a raise!Does a Harvard “C” equal an “A” at a less prestigious university? If not, then, maybe everyone at Harvard is an “A” student compared to the general university student.This whole grade subject is confusing because no one seems to agree what is being measured or how. If there is no fixed standard, there is no reliable or valid measurement possibility. For grade inflation over time today, you have to assume that the time past was the correct measurement and it was measured the same way then as now. Quite possibly, the people in the past suffered grade deflation. I knew there had to be a good reason for my “C”s in high school.

  2. Pingback: A New Adventure: Standards-Based Grading | Critical Points

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