I’ve been thinking about a lot of things lately – sometimes so many different things that it becomes difficult to begin writing. Call it writer’s block or stage fright if you will, however, I have found that after I read a couple of the #rhizo15 posts on Facebook or Twitter, I will then spend an inordinate amount of time researching these new ideas and going down the Madagascar penguin hole to learn more.
The rhizome is getting inside my head. It is the question “WHY” that I asked every few minutes as a child trying to make sense of this world, that I find myself asking now. Why do we grade student’s work and is that a real indicator of learning? Does it measure what they know and why do we need to measure that anyway?
I’ve struggled with this question before and had numerous discussions with @alicekeeler @catspyjamasnz @robinwb and @bdean1000 on the topic over the last couple of years. And then this hit my inbox: Be theoretical. Be practical… but GRADE ME! – Dave Cormier
I am not a fan of GRADES. I have found grades to be motivating and demotivating at different times in my life. When I found them motivating, I was a child and it was to earn my parents attention because the attention that I received when I brought home less than an A was not the type of attention that I wanted. However, when I consider what that taught me about life and how that quantified my knowledge or learning, I think there has got to be a better way!
Let me ask the hard question… what is the difference between a student who earns a B and a C? What factors contributed to them earning that grade? How much of that was due to learning that “didn’t occur” and how much of that was because they were juggling 800 other things? Or because when they received a low grade on one assignment it brought down their whole grade and they didn’t feel like they should argue about the grade with the teacher? So, what value do we put on those grades in life? In parenting? In society? How does this impact the world we live in?
I would ask the community, is there a better way to demonstrate knowledge? Can we support the notion of scaffolding competence? When we value knowledge in this new collective knowledge economy I expect that we need to find ways to lift each other up and support the development of new ideas, models, methods and rather than giving someone a D or C for their efforts, we might consider providing the necessary learner support and feedback to get them where they want to go…
What if we just simply said “Competent” or “Not Yet”…