For a copy of the introductory hand-out letter given in class, click the button at right to view and print the letter
Discussion: Ins and Outs of Standards
What is Standards-Based Grading?
My standards-based grading system emphasizes the process of learning physics. Using this system, students are able to know in detail what physics skills they achieved and what skills they still need to work on. The feedback reported to the student on every assessment activity communicates if he/she has demonstrated the learning goals (physics skills) for a particular unit. This system uses symbols, rather than points, to communicate whether or not the student has shown they used the physics skill correctly.
We keep track of your progress through ActiveGrade. At the end of the course, your grade will be determined based on your ActiveGrade progress.
How to work with the growth and feedback system
At the end of this course, you will receive a final letter grade. This final letter grade will be determined by your proficient demonstration of skills from each unit. Each major skill that we seek to develop this year will be associated with a learning goal (see the list per topic). These learning goals will be assessed against a proficiency rubric. The scale of the rubric is from 0 (No evidence of skill) to 4 (advanced proficiency demonstrated). This assessment system has numerous implications to the flow of our class.
Give yourself permission to grow.
It will be possible, but not recommended, to calculate an interim grade during the term. As you learn new material, your scores will fluctuate as you gain mastery and consistency. Only where you are at the end of the term really matters, so try to allow yourself to make mistakes and to learn while you are “in the middle of things”. If you approach the task of learning physics with commitment and in earnest, your first attempts will not resemble your final, masterful work.
The letter grade will only be determined at the end.
Learning goals will be tested more than once throughout the term, and scores can go up or down— the most recent score counts the most. You will also have some opportunities to request that you be reassessed on a particular learning during a reassessment appointment.
The semester letter grade will be determined by the latest average of all the scores, not accumulation of points.
This means that there will not be 100, 400, 1000 points accumulated at the end of the quarter. The letter grade at the end of the course will be based on your average of most current learning goal scores, so you will see an overall rating between 0 - 4.
Assessments will be scored by learning goal against the rubric.
On our weekly assessments, rather than giving you a numerical grade or a percentage, I will instead give you feedback on those skills and a temporary score of 0 (no mastery has been shown), 1 (beginning mastery), 2 (developing mastery), 3 (proficient mastery), or 4 (advanced mastery — use of the skill must be perfect).
You will receive multiple feedback scores on an assessment.
Depending on how many skills are assessed, you may be given multiple feedback scores on each assessment. For example, on assessment 3, you may see three scores for learning goals: one for SP.01, one for SP.03, and one for Vel.01. Then, on the next assessment, you may have two scores: one for SP.03, and Vel.01.
You will be assessed multiple times for each learning goal in any unit.
Over the course of a unit, most skills are assessed at least twice. Some skills will be assessed more. The resulting average proficiency score is calculated as follows:
Current proficiency score = 75% (latest score) + 25% (average of all previous scores)
The most current score is the most important.
If you score low on a previous quiz or assessment, your next score will override this low performance. So, take the time to learn from your mistakes, so the next time you are assessed for that particular skill, you will be more proficient.
You can request to be re-assessed even after the unit has concluded.
See the reassessment page to understand the process to get reassessed.