On 6/1/2012 12:15 AM, Corey Andreasen wrote: > Yes, grading is somewhat subjective. But we should be trying to base them on some level of understanding/performance. It should be based on some idea of what we want students to do and know. Setting a percentage doesn't do that. Give an easy test and 90% doesn't mean you know anything. Give a difficult test and 90% might be evidence of genius. But by the common grading scale, both earn an A. The fact is ... about the best we can do is to use a system of awarding points or other forms of assessment feedbacks that will, overall, order students in about the correct order they belong in ...
If we think we are doing much more, I think we have mistakenly given more information value to whatever grading system we use ... that it can possibly have.
At the end of the day ... no matter what methods we use ... we are not able to go to Sally Smith's parents and tell them what Sally can do nor what she can't do.
We can't differentiate between specific skills or knowledges that a student who WE give a C+ to can do or knows ... that someone who got only a C- doesn't know or can't do.
Even on the APstat test ... given that one could miss or lose about 1/4 of all the possible points ... and still get a 5 ... we don't know what Bill who got a 5 doesn't know compared to Elizabeth knows ... who also got a 5. Our measuring methods and the values they lead too are just not designed to do that. If I asked if John, who got a 4 on the APstat test ... could actually find the correct SD for a simple set of 6 values ... we wouldn't have a clue.
Think about what you would say ... if you were in some court trial about standards used for grading students ... and the judge asked you to say what one student could do who got an A in your APstat course ... compared to one who got a B ... and you will be very hard pressed to respond in a sane and understandable manner.
Grading is a very interesting and challenging activity ... that the "law" says we must do ... but, we really haven't figured it out yet.
I would like to say that we do a better job of grading today ... than say 50 years ago ... and know more about what a grade is ... BUT ... I think I would be straying too far out onto that limb ... if I did so.