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A New Perspective on Grading
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  1. A New Perspective on Grading Laurie Werner Associate Professor of Computer and Information Technology Miami University ISECON 2002

  2. Introduction • Grading is a complex process • Our grading methods communicate to our students what is important for them to learn from us • We can use grades to motivate students to “learn while they earn their grades” • We can improve the accuracy of evaluating student work in computing courses ISECON 2002

  3. Agenda • Discuss the benefits of providing students with their “grade as of today” • Discuss the advantages of using a cumulative points method of grading • Brief view of how to produce a public grade book • Present some ideas about grading/project evaluation methods in skills courses ISECON 2002

  4. Benefits of making grades readily available to students • Timely feedback for students • Teaches students that everything counts • Helps set high expectations of students • Improves course management • Improves accuracy of grades ISECON 2002

  5. Advantages of using an accumulated points model • For the instructor • For the student • As a learning tool ISECON 2002

  6. Advantages for the Instructor • Flexibility • Number and pertinence of evaluation instruments can vary throughout the semester • Short in-class activities can be assigned points when students’ attention wanes on a topic • Simplified final grade calculation • Students are less likely to ask “are we doing anything important today” on a non-test day because activities are worth points ISECON 2002

  7. Advantages for Students • Good or poor performance in one area can offset performance in another area • Poor performance early in the course is not devastatingly discouraging. • No one evaluation carries too much weight • Students can decide where to put their efforts ISECON 2002

  8. Learning tool • Consistent performance pays off for the student • Teach what we are grading • Use our experience to modify engaging activities throughout the semester • Grading the activities communicates the importance of the topic to the students • Grading can give students a sense of control ISECON 2002

  9. The Public Grade Book • Csa283GradesForPosting.xls • Tips • Generate an ID number • Excel formula int((rand()*9000)+1000) • Volatile • Copy using Paste Special – Values • Possible points row • Add a blank column to maintain sum formula • Post on a network drive that allows students to download or copy ISECON 2002

  10. Next Step – Evaluating Information Technology Skills • Accurate Assessment is important to our students • Evaluating problem solving skills is a challenge • Methods have been proposed for sciences, but may not fit IT • How do we assess problem solving skills and facilitate student growth in problem solving in an IT setting? ISECON 2002

  11. Summary • Grading can be a valuable learning tool • Hypothesis: • We can use a grading methodology to not only assess problem solving ability but to improve that skill in our students ISECON 2002