Meaningful Grading: A Guide for Faculty in the Arts
Natasha Haugnes, Hoag Holmgren, and Martin Springborg
Martin’s own LinkedIn post: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/activity:6425014893287657472/
College and university faculty in the arts (visual, studio, language, music, design, and others) regularly grade and assess undergraduate student work but often with little guidance or support. As a result, many arts faculty, especially new faculty, adjunct faculty, and graduate student instructors, feel bewildered and must “reinvent the wheel” when grappling with the challenges and responsibilities of grading and assessing student work.
Meaningful Grading: A Guide for Faculty in the Arts enables faculty to create and implement effective assessment methodologies—research based and field tested—in traditional and online classrooms. In doing so, the book reveals how the daunting challenges of grading in the arts can be turned into opportunities for deeper student learning, increased student engagement, and an enlivened pedagogy.
Game-Changing Grading Changes
Grade the Product AND the Process
With Revision History, I’ve seen students work just two hours on a paper the night before it’s due and others spend considerable time and effort on a paper. Whatever the case may be, I can identify and address what I see in Revision History with a student to help them grow. My note: use wiki or Google Apps to be able to track changes in revision
Use Kaizena for Effective Feedback – Many teachers have discovered the awesome benefits of filming themselves and their lessons, but what about recording feedback? My note: use audio recording for feedback. a more positive place to learn because my students could now hear the intonation and inflection in my voice when I delivered feedback, not have their hearts broken by red ink. They could hear the positivity with which I reviewed their work and provided feedback.
Rethinking How We Grade Group Work
I had students submit group contracts which clearly stated when and where they would meet and who was responsible for completing what, when. This contract was used in our post-project meetings. By having clearly defined tasks and roles, each student was held accountable. Make them be specific. Instead of Tina will do research by Friday get them as close to Tina will find five usable sources for the project and get them to Tom on the shared planning Doc by 3pm Friday.
Remember Revision History? It’s great for group projects because a Revision History is created for every person the Doc is shared with. Revision History can help a teacher see who contributed to group work and when because on any shared item in Google Drive, each individual is assigned their own color and timestamp. We can now better see how much each group member has contributed to an assignment. We can take this into consideration when grading, or, better yet, be proactive and intervene when a group’s shared planning Doc looks like one person is doing all the work
1) After a project, I gave students a Google Form where they could provide anonymous feedback on their peers efforts during the project. The Form also allowed students to grade these efforts using a rubric. I would then average the grades for each individual student and share the anonymous feedback at the post-group meetings. I would give them an opportunity to reflect on the feedback as a group and speak to the fairness of their averaged grade. Through this process we would come to an agreement on an individual grade for the project and a list of takeaways the could use to improve for next time.