Grading for Impact!
Grading for Impact® is a research based approach for addressing all grading actions in schools and districts that focuses on monitoring all grading and feedback practices to ensure they are leading to the desired results of an increased student learning and positive behaviors. Schools and individual teachers can utilize the framework to determine grading and feedback practices that will lead to an increase in truthfulness, consistency, impartiality, and understandability of grades as as a form of feedback their students receive.
Grading in schools has a long-standing tradition in American Schools. Many time-honored and accepted grading approaches, actions, and practices that lead to what is reported to students and parents in the form of grades have rarely been examined for their accuracy—let alone their impact on student learning. Even approaches from the most caring, passionate, and expert level teachers often reflect more of their own personal judgment and estimation of what students can know and be able to do related to course or grade level expectations. That is not at all being critical of many hard working and dedicated teachers. Most of us as educators have had little to no formal training and support related to grading and feedback practices that lead to an increase in student learning and engagement during our undergraduate or graduate preparation course work. In addition, most schools and districts have not made staff training and professional development related grading a priority. This is again, not a critique of principals and other leaders who are charged with making important professional development decisions with limited resources of time and finances. Many other pressing topics often find their way into professional development plans and budgets. When professional development regarding grading practices has taken place, it often has fallen short of the desired result of accurate and consistent practices that lead to an increase in student learning. This has happened for two reasons:
- In place of true professional development, teachers are simply provided edicts or mandates regarding which grading actions are now off limits.
- Professional development only tinkers with actions that will not lead to changes focused on evidence and adaptable actions (We change the grading scale or adjust the A-B-C-D-F scale to a 4-3-2-1).
- When either of these occur increases in student learning or positive behaviors do not increase because teachers are unsure how to adapt evidence into grading actions that are practical and malleable for their specific course or classroom needs.
Please connect here for specific grading support services from Dave Nagel (NZJ Learning):