CEESA Assessment Summit: Grading Smarter Not Harder
I will be presenting two sessions at the CEESA Assessment Summit 2021:
Session on: Liquid grading
Description: Grading is often criticized due to the ethical and emotional considerations it entails. There are grading practices that hurt students (e.g. grading on the curve). Many other practices do encourage a sense of compliance which makes students (especially secondary students) play ‘the game of school’ with ‘winners and losers’ – an unhealthy environment that does not support wellbeing or learning. Many grading practices simply distort achievement e.g. ‘hodgepodge’ grading (Brookhart, 1991). But if we were to go gradeless, this would not be something to take too lightly as the absence of grades does not mean that the deeper issues go away. In this session, we will bring evidence that the grading issue is more complex than it appears and that making a quick fix (such as replacing it with feedback), without considering the underlying issues, may result in re-enacting the problems we don’t want and playing the ‘new game’.
Areas of focus: Innovative Grading practice, Professional Judgment
Essential Questions: How might we examine the deeper issues of ego-involvement and control? How might we grade flexibly and fairly? What if we used the assessment data formatively or summatively instead of making the assumption before with formative and summative assessments?
Session on: Autonomy-Supportive Feedback
Description: In this session, you will develop a refined understanding of feedback by differentiating feedback that is experienced as controlling and feedback that provides students with the optimal conditions to feel encouraged, bounce back from ‘failures’, and progress towards their learning goals.
This session is best suited for teachers working with students in upper elementary and secondary school as feedback becomes a more formal exercise. Some of the learning objectives of the session are: 1) Recognize the differences between controlling feedback and autonomy-supportive feedback. 2) Consider the conditions for feedback to be offered and received effectively 3) Start crafting autonomy-supportive feedback to enhance learning and quality motivation.
Areas of focus: Autonomy, Feedback, Self-directedness
Essential Questions: How can we think critically about feedback to ensure it is effective and supports learners’ agency? What is the difference between controlling and autonomy-supportive feedback? What are some tools we can use to empower learners through autonomy-supportive feedback?