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Learning Journey #6 March 10, 2014

Posted by jennienorgaard in Learning Journey.
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In class Thursday night we talked about different assessment practices more specifically, the 15 fixes by Ken O’Connor and the 8 big ideas by Damian Cooper. From these two different assessment practices, I personally like the 15 fixes more than the 8 big ideas. Throughout the majority of the fixes I agree that for the most part we should try to implement these assessment practices. However, there are a few that I am on the fence about such as number 5, which is “Report absences separately from grades; don’t consider attendance in grade determination.” To an extent, I agree with not taking attendance into consideration when grading our students. Although, I don’t think it is fair to give students an opportunity to have another chance to write an exam because they “skipped” the original date. I say this because if this was allowed more students would be missing out on the day of the actual exam to give themselves more time to study and prepare for the exam. It would be a totally different case if the student had a legitimate reason for not being there on the day of the exam, which is when I agree with the idea that we should be allowing these students another opportunity to write the exam. Apart from the idea of not allowing students who purposely “skipped” the day of the exam to allow themselves more time to study, I think students have to learn to be responsible for themselves as well. So essentially, I am not trying to say that I don’t want the best for my students and for them to be graded on what they learn as opposed to when/if they show up to class. I just think that to an extent, students need to be responsible for their own learning as well. For example, if they know they are struggling with the unit they are on, they should start studying for the exam earlier than what they normally would to ensure they have enough time to study everything. Or students can also try and ask their teacher or peers for help before the exam as well to try and better themselves. Students shouldn’t leave studying for the night before and expect to get a good grade in the end.

Another assessment practice that I don’t fully agree with is number 4, which is “Apply fair consequences (not connected to grades) for academic dishonesty and reassess to determine actual level of achievement; don’t punish with reduced grades.” I disagree with this one as this is setting the high school students up for failure going into university as things like plagiarism is not acceptable. I also think that by allowing this, it is like saying to the students that it is okay to just copy and paste something they find on the Internet for there assignment if they totally forgot to do their assignment the night before or if they don’t feel like doing it at the time. This way they will be given another chance to actually do the assignment as a form of punishment. This also ensures that they can redo the assignment instead of not handing in an assignment and receiving a grade of zero on it. (Or depending on what the expectations are in the classroom for assignments not handed in.) This is allowing lots of students to put off their homework as much as they would like if they have something else they would rather be doing. This is another case where the students need to be responsible for their own learning in the sense that they shouldn’t be copying and pasting things from the Internet for an assignment or project as they are not learning anything by doing this. Instead, I think they should be utilizing the resources provided to them online to better their understanding on different things and to learn more things in general. Overall, the Internet shouldn’t be abused and instead it should be utilized properly to better someones understanding of something and increase what they know.

In general, I don’t think that the behavior of students should be taken into consideration when assessing and evaluating them. But at the same time I also think that students should be responsible for their own learning and do whatever they can to contribute to their own learning rather than taking the easy way out on certain things. With the whole idea of not taking behavior into consideration when grading students I think that the playing field should be fair for all students as well. By this I mean that students who purposely skip class shouldn’t be given a second chance and expect to be treated like the students who actually deserve and could use the second chance they are given.

 

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