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Why Grades Don’t
‘Make the Grade’
Explaining How Learning Outcomes
Assessment Can Improve
Student Learning
Workshop Objectives
By the end of this workshop, participants
will be able to:
– 1. Explain the differences and relationsh...
Institutional Profile
Del Mar College
– Founded in 1935
– two campuses + two centers in Corpus Christi, TX
– Enrolls 22,00...
Myth-conceptions
Agenda
Activity 1:
Compare and Contrast
See Page 1 in Worksheets
Definition of “Grade”
• Complex global evaluations that
represent the overall proficiency of
students.
See Page 2 in Works...
Definition of Assessment
Assessment is the
systematic and
ongoing method of
gathering, analyzing
and using information
fro...
Learning Outcomes
Assessment
Three Main Components:
1. Articulate the goals for student learning.
2. Gather information ab...
Student learning outcomes
clearly state
the expected knowledge,
skills, attitudes,
competencies,
and habits of mind
that s...
Grades
Agenda
Three Reasons
1. Grades Mean Different Things to Different
People
2. Grades and Learning Outcomes
Assessment Have Differen...
1. Grades Mean Different
Things to Different People
ACTIVITY 2
• Varying Components of a Course
Grade
– THINK – PAIR – SHARE – COMPARE
– What different components make up YOU...
Why exam, assignment, and/or course grades
may not necessarily measure ability to meet a
learning outcome:
• inconsistent ...
2. Grades and Learning
Outcomes Assessment
Have Different Purposes
Grading
Grading serves multiple
purposes:
• Evaluation
• Communication
• Motivation
• Organization
• Faculty & Student
Ref...
Photo Credit: Terenzini, P. T. (Nov/Dec 1989). Assessment With Open Eyes: Pitfalls in
Studying Student Outcomes.” Journal ...
3. Grades and Learning
Outcomes Assessment
Provide Different
Information
ACTIVITY 3: Exam & Assignment
Grades vs. SLO Assessment
• Talk to your colleagues and discuss:
– What trends do you notice...
Professionalism Rubric
ACTIVITY 3: Exam & Assignment
Grades vs. SLO Assessment
Skill/
Outcome
Identify
components of
professionalism
(Exam 1)
15p...
“Aren’t Grades Enough?”
Summary
Data from learning outcomes assessment CAN
provide:
• specific information about students’...
Example 2: SLO – Communication
SLO: Explain and defend ideas orally and in writing.
Grading Criteria
(10 points each)
Stud...
Agenda
Linking Teaching, Learning,
Grading, & Life
• Authentic Assessment
• Test Blueprinting
• All-In-One Grading Rubrics
"...Engaging and worthy problems or
questions of importance, in which
students must use knowledge to
fashion performances ...
How Does Authentic
Assessment Differ?
Traditional -------------------------------------- Authentic
Selecting a Response --...
Test Blueprinting
• An outline of the test that lists the
learning goals that students are to
demonstrate (Suskie, 2009)
•...
All-In-One Rubrics
https://www.web.virginia.edu/iaas/assess/tools/rubrics.shtm
excerpt
NOW – How would you answer
these questions?
Final Tips & Take-Aways
• be patient...remember most higher education
faculty are content experts, not education or
assess...
Contact Information
• Walvoord, B. E. (2010). Assessment Clear & Simple: A
Practical Guide for Institutions, Departments, and
General Educatio...
• National Institute of Learning Outcomes Assessment
(NILOA): – LINK
• Introduction to Rubrics – DePaul Teaching Commons
–...
• Bengiamin, N. N., & Leimer, C. (2012). SLO-Based
Grading Makes Assessment an Integral Part of
Teaching. Assessment Updat...
Why Grades Don't 'Make the Grade': Explaining How Learning Outcomes Assessment Can Improve Student Learning
Why Grades Don't 'Make the Grade': Explaining How Learning Outcomes Assessment Can Improve Student Learning
Why Grades Don't 'Make the Grade': Explaining How Learning Outcomes Assessment Can Improve Student Learning
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Why Grades Don't 'Make the Grade': Explaining How Learning Outcomes Assessment Can Improve Student Learning

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This workshop was presented at the Texas A&M Assessment Conference in February 2015 by Jean Downs and Lucy James. This workshop was designed to assist assessment specialists and administrators to explain the differences between grading and assessment, as well as make recommendations for when each can - and should - be used to demonstrate different facets of student achievement. Assessment specialists are continually asked why grades are not adequate data for learning outcomes assessment. While grades provide useful information about learning, assessment produces specific data that can be utilized to improve that learning. Another goal of the workshop was to help faculty answer the question, “Why can’t I just use grades as data for learning outcomes assessment?”

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Why Grades Don't 'Make the Grade': Explaining How Learning Outcomes Assessment Can Improve Student Learning

  1. 1. Why Grades Don’t ‘Make the Grade’ Explaining How Learning Outcomes Assessment Can Improve Student Learning
  2. 2. Workshop Objectives By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: – 1. Explain the differences and relationships between grades, grading, scoring, and learning outcomes assessment. – 2. Discuss circumstances during which grades, or learning outcomes assessment data, could be used to demonstrate different facets of student achievement. – 3. Articulate strategies for promoting learning outcomes assessment as a process for collecting specific diagnostic information for the purpose of improving student learning.
  3. 3. Institutional Profile Del Mar College – Founded in 1935 – two campuses + two centers in Corpus Christi, TX – Enrolls 22,000 students annually – Hispanic-Serving Institution – 600 faculty (285 FT / 348 PT) – 596 staff – 3 nationally accredited fine arts programs: music, art, drama – CTE make >$56K annually ($6K over state avg) – Retains 58.4% of students
  4. 4. Myth-conceptions
  5. 5. Agenda
  6. 6. Activity 1: Compare and Contrast See Page 1 in Worksheets
  7. 7. Definition of “Grade” • Complex global evaluations that represent the overall proficiency of students. See Page 2 in Worksheets
  8. 8. Definition of Assessment Assessment is the systematic and ongoing method of gathering, analyzing and using information from measured outcomes to improve student learning.
  9. 9. Learning Outcomes Assessment Three Main Components: 1. Articulate the goals for student learning. 2. Gather information about how well students are achieving goals. 3. Use the information for improvement.
  10. 10. Student learning outcomes clearly state the expected knowledge, skills, attitudes, competencies, and habits of mind that students are expected to acquire when they complete: • a course • a program, or • a certificate or degree
  11. 11. Grades
  12. 12. Agenda
  13. 13. Three Reasons 1. Grades Mean Different Things to Different People 2. Grades and Learning Outcomes Assessment Have Different Purposes 3. Grades and Learning Outcomes Assessment Provide Different Information Why can’t I just use grades to document assessment for my course?
  14. 14. 1. Grades Mean Different Things to Different People
  15. 15. ACTIVITY 2 • Varying Components of a Course Grade – THINK – PAIR – SHARE – COMPARE – What different components make up YOUR students’ final course grade? – What different components make up the final course grade for students in your colleague’s courses? – Assignment grades? – Exam grades? See Page 2 in Worksheets
  16. 16. Why exam, assignment, and/or course grades may not necessarily measure ability to meet a learning outcome: • inconsistent evaluations within course, between courses, semesters, campuses; • grades can depend on instructor-specific factors: weight for assignments, importance of additional topics; • grades can depend on student behavior (missed or late assignments)
  17. 17. 2. Grades and Learning Outcomes Assessment Have Different Purposes
  18. 18. Grading Grading serves multiple purposes: • Evaluation • Communication • Motivation • Organization • Faculty & Student Reflection (Walvoord & Anderson, 2010)
  19. 19. Photo Credit: Terenzini, P. T. (Nov/Dec 1989). Assessment With Open Eyes: Pitfalls in Studying Student Outcomes.” Journal of Higher Education, Vol. 60, No. 6, pp. 644-664. Learning Outcomes Assessment
  20. 20. 3. Grades and Learning Outcomes Assessment Provide Different Information
  21. 21. ACTIVITY 3: Exam & Assignment Grades vs. SLO Assessment • Talk to your colleagues and discuss: – What trends do you notice? – What might you conclude about the students’ grades versus meeting the student learning outcomes 1 and 2? See Page 3 in Worksheets
  22. 22. Professionalism Rubric
  23. 23. ACTIVITY 3: Exam & Assignment Grades vs. SLO Assessment Skill/ Outcome Identify components of professionalism (Exam 1) 15pt Identify components of professionalism (HW1) 20pt Demonstrate Professionalism (Clinical 1) 10 pt Demonstrate Professionalis m (Clinical 2) 10 pt Total Identify components 35 pt Total demonstrate professionalism 20 pt Total Score/ Grade 55 pts Std 1 10 15 6 9 25 15 40=C Std 2 14 18 10 8 32 18 50=B Std 3 14 17 5 5 31 10 41=C Class Average 12.67 16.67 7 7.33 29.34 14.33 Professionalism SLOs: 1) Identify components of professionalism in the workplace. 2) Demonstrate professionalism in the workplace. See Professionalism Rubric
  24. 24. “Aren’t Grades Enough?” Summary Data from learning outcomes assessment CAN provide: • specific information about students’ performance on discrete tasks • meaningful data across course sections or time • objective student data which can be used for improvement of student learning or recognition of student achievement
  25. 25. Example 2: SLO – Communication SLO: Explain and defend ideas orally and in writing. Grading Criteria (10 points each) Student #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 AVG 1. Clearly state the purpose. 9 8 7 9 7 9 10 8 9 9 8.3 2. Clearly understand the audiences’ values, attitudes, goals, and needs. 7 8 7 7 5 6 7 6 7 9 6.9 3. Evaluates evidence (data) for accuracy and relevance. 8 9 8 9 6 7 8 7 8 9 7.9 4. Use vocabulary appropriate to the subject and purpose(s) 7 8 9 9 5 9 8 7 8 10 7.6 5. Use correct reference forms. 7 6 7 6 5 6 7 8 9 9 6.7 6. Use correct grammar, syntax (word order), punctuation, and spelling. 8 9 7 8 6 7 8 9 8 10 8 7. Present accurate information. 9 7 8 9 7 6 8 9 9 8 8 8. Develop patterns or organization for ideas. 6 7 8 9 7 8 9 7 9 9 7.9 9. Identify strengths and weaknesses of an argument, situation, or action. 7 6 7 9 5 7 7 8 7 9 7 10. Summarize the main ideas clearly. 8 7 8 9 7 6 7 8 10 10 7.9 TOTAL GRADE: 76 75 76 84 60 71 79 77 84 92
  26. 26. Agenda
  27. 27. Linking Teaching, Learning, Grading, & Life • Authentic Assessment • Test Blueprinting • All-In-One Grading Rubrics
  28. 28. "...Engaging and worthy problems or questions of importance, in which students must use knowledge to fashion performances effectively and creatively. The tasks are either replicas of or analogous to the kinds of problems faced by adult citizens and consumers or professionals in the field." -Grant Wiggins What’s “authentic” about authentic assessment?
  29. 29. How Does Authentic Assessment Differ? Traditional -------------------------------------- Authentic Selecting a Response ------------------------ Performing a Task Contrived (for the purposes of assessment) --------------------- Real-life Recall/Recognition -------------------- Construction/Application Teacher-centered-------------------------------Learner-centered Indirect Evidence ------------------------------- Direct Evidence
  30. 30. Test Blueprinting • An outline of the test that lists the learning goals that students are to demonstrate (Suskie, 2009) • The process of linking tests to learning goals (Walvoord & Anderson, 2010) Are you testing what you think is most important?
  31. 31. All-In-One Rubrics
  32. 32. https://www.web.virginia.edu/iaas/assess/tools/rubrics.shtm
  33. 33. excerpt
  34. 34. NOW – How would you answer these questions?
  35. 35. Final Tips & Take-Aways • be patient...remember most higher education faculty are content experts, not education or assessment experts • use the term “learning outcomes assessment” instead of “assessment” • show them, don’t tell them – use concrete examples and exercises • encourage the use of rubrics to link grades & LO assessment • encourage authentic assessment • use test blue-printing for exams • repetition, repetition, repetition • be patient
  36. 36. Contact Information
  37. 37. • Walvoord, B. E. (2010). Assessment Clear & Simple: A Practical Guide for Institutions, Departments, and General Education (2nd ed). San Francisco: Jossey- Bass. • Carnegie Mellon University (n.d.). Grading vs. Assessment of Learning Outcomes: What’s the difference? LINK • Downs, J. (2014). Training: Designing Effective Methods to Measure a Student Learning Outcome in Your Course. Created for ED5083 - Processes in Instructional Design. http://jeandowns.weebly.com/ References & Resources
  38. 38. • National Institute of Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA): – LINK • Introduction to Rubrics – DePaul Teaching Commons – LINK • Creating Rubrics – a five-part tutorial on rubric creation and implementation: LINK • American Association of Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) VALUE Rubrics – LINK • Richman, W.A., & Ariovich, L. (2013). All-in-one: Combining Grading, Course, Program, and General Education Outcomes Assessment. (Occasional Paper No.19). Urbana, IL: University of Illinois and Indiana University, NILOA LINK References & Resources
  39. 39. • Bengiamin, N. N., & Leimer, C. (2012). SLO-Based Grading Makes Assessment an Integral Part of Teaching. Assessment Update, 24(5), 1-16. • Walvoord, B. E. & Anderson, V. J. (2010). Effective Grading: A Tool for Learning and Assessment in College / Edition 2 • Stallbaumer-Beishline, L. M. (2012). Outcomes Assessment Essentials: Test Blueprinting, A Course- Embedded Tool. LINK • Terenzini, P. T. (Nov/Dec 1989). Assessment With Open Eyes: Pitfalls in Studying Student Outcomes. Journal of Higher Education, Vol. 60, No. 6, pp. 644-664. References & Resources

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