Standards-Based Grading: Never “When”, but “How?”
Is there any value in being a hardass about how students show proficiency?
I’m thinking back to a related-rates1 project I had my kids do. They related the immersion of a popular culture character’s name (like, “Jeannie” in the late 1960′s) to the frequency of it as a baby name (Social Security Administration data).
Some students had a hard time with the project, and ended up watering down their investigations. I was lax on them, knowing that they’d be assessed on related rates several times in the future.
Their investigations started grand and ended up with hardly any luster at all, as they tried to get it all done during class (ugh, I hate that mentality)
The more I think back though, the more I wonder if being a bit more prim would’ve been good for them without watering down my assessment scheme.
What do you all think would be a suitable and defensible policy?
1. Yeah, yeah, related rates are a joke contrived for calculus one courses; I know. But they’re a gatekeeper, and until every college everywhere stops including them (or at least starts teaching them as “the implicit chain rule,” I’ll still have to teach the garbage.