Grading/Reporting Best Practices
Effective Schooling Research
The major findings regarding Grading/Reporting Best Practices include the following:
- The primary goal of grading and reporting is communication.
- Educators must participate in staff development activities to build assessment skills and evaluate the quality of assessment techniques, methods, strategies and data.
- Educators must plan assessments as they plan instruction—not as an afterthought.
- Educators must monitor student learning closely and regularly.
- Educators must align classroom assessments of student performance with the written curriculum and actual instruction.
- Educators must use assessment results not only to evaluate students, but also for instructional diagnosis, to find out if teaching techniques, methods, and strategies are effectively working.
- Educators must set grading scales and mastery levels high to promote excellence.
- Educators must support the development and use of alternative assessments.
- Educators must focus on developing multifaceted reporting systems.
The Grading/Reporting Best Practices that have proven time-after-time to significantly improve student learning are:
- Understand that grading and reporting are not essential to instruction.
- Understand that grading and reporting require subjective judgments.
- Avoid bias in grading and reporting.
- Understand grades have some value as rewards, but no value as punishments.
- Understand that grading and reporting should be done in reference to learning Criteria.
- Avoid averaging scores to determine a grade, using zeros, and taking credit away from students or lowering their grades because of attendance/behavioral/conduct infractions.
- Understand that "formative assessments" produce the "most" powerful effect on student learning and should be used frequently.
- Develop comprehensive and practical multifaceted reporting systems.
Workshop Training Profile
The Grading/Reporting Best Practices workshop training focuses on the acquisition of the knowledge, skills, and understandings of those research-based effective grading/reporting best practices identified above under Practical Implications. The work of a number of distinguished educational scholars guide the training workshop. (R. Marzaon et al. Classroom Assessment and Grading That Work and Transforming Classroom Grading; Assessing Student Outcomes: Performance Assessment Using the Dimensions of Learning Model; J. Arter/J. McTighe. Scoring Rubrics in the Classroom: Using Performance Criteria for Assessing and Improving Student Performance; and T. Guskey/J. Bailey. Developing Grading and Reporting Systems for Student Learning)