ERIC Number: ED401545
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
Getting Along without Grades--And Getting Along with Them Too.
Conventional grading is so ubiquitous that it is tempting to see it as inevitable and to feel hopeless about making any changes. It is often not reliable nor does it have clear meaning. Also, it does not give students feedback about what they did well or badly. Even while operating under a conventional grading system, composition teachers can use some temporary time-outs from grading such as 10 days of freewriting, journal writing, or ungraded writing assignments, or by making contracts for grades which say if the student does x, y, and z, he/she can count on a certain grade. Stepping outside of grading helps learning and makes teaching more satisfying. Operating outside the mentality of evaluation or judging of student writing can foster an atmosphere of support and appreciation that helps students flourish, think well, and stretch themselves. Instead of evaluating quality, ask instead what the paper says or implies and what the writer assumes--answer these questions about students' writing and train students to answer them about each other's writing. Grades will be more fair if the criteria for evaluation is spelled out for students and if they are given valuable feedback. (Included are 2 grading grid examples.) (CR)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A