This post may be of limited use/interest to many folks, but I just sent it to the AP Psych listserv, so I thought I'd post it over here too in case anyone is interested.
I started to get interested in researching assessment and grading practices because of a comment made by one of my psych students. After we finished going over a developmental psych test, the class took the day before, this student said "Hey, I think I know more about developmental psych now as a result of going over the test!" I mentally patted myself on the back, but then she said "And isn't our grade supposed to be the way you operationally define our learning?" Warning bells went off in my head, but I said yes, it was. Then she said "So shouldn't our grades improve?"
That student was kind of teasing me, but after that I got very interested in my grading practices (and ended up changing some of them). Below is a list of authors I like to read on this topic - if anyone else has favorites, add them in the comments?
- Ken O'Connor http://www.oconnorgrading.com/ - Lots of detail about "troubleshooting" grades. There is a danger that some of his writing can come across as "preachy" or unrealistic (esp. the A Repair Kit for Grading book) but definitely worth reading and thinking about.
- Thomas Guskey http://education.uky.edu/EDP/guskey - If anyone is talking about changing report cards ("Standard Based Reporting"), Guskey is the author to read.
- Sue Brookhart http://www.ascd.org/professional-development/oscb/faculty/Brookhart-S.aspx - I think she's writing the best stuff right now about formative assessment (descriptive feedback, etc.)
- AND finally, there is a thriving online conversation about standards based grading via Twitter and Blogs. I think much of these bloggers ideas are more accessible and more useful than the published pieces from the authors above. I love reading about the creative ways teachers are using the "spirit" of standards based grading in REAL classrooms. The Think Thank Thunk blog is the best place to start (but there are many others)
posted by Rob McEntarffer