Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Standards Based Grading in Psychology

 Two of our Psychology teachers, Bree Sandquist and Glenn Olstad experimented with standards based grading. They used a 4-3-2-1-0 grading system.

A 1 grade means the student can recognize the concept but can't define it or apply it to the real world.

A 2 grade means the student has the ability to define and recognize the learning target. The person in the real world could listen to a newscast and understand what is going on.

A 3 means the student can not only define and recognize the learning target, but is also able to apply the knowledge or skill.  This person would be able to listen to the newscast and not only understand it but be able to discuss it at the local coffee house.

A 4 grade means the student can define, recognize and apply the learning target as well as teach it and critically think about it.

Data Collection - Students are given a multiple choice test. The multiple choice sections have both definition and application questions and a high level detail in application to the 4 level.  The problem in assessment came in providing enough opportunities for students to show level 4 understanding.  Can the student do the level 2 definitions. Your assessment is gathering evidence.

We have our 2-level questions.  These are usually definitions.  3-level questions ask the student to apply the definitions and the 4-level questions has the student apply the learning in a new context or has high level detail or application.

The second section of the test is constructed response or simulus response.  Students are given a word or a picture and they respond to it.  (If their response is just a definition they score a 2, if the definition also includes an application they get a 3.  Ideally they need both the definition and the application.  To receive a 4 on the construction response students shows higher amount of detail or they are applying the concept to a new area. They shows extended learning which often includes a new situation or connection.

Then the Data from these two sections is used to ascertain if the student is at a 1, 2, 3 or 4 level.

Mr. Olstad stated, "What is good about this is you actually can determine what a kid knows and can do."

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