It used to be simple to post grades. Add up test scores and see what the student earned. Very defensible. Everyone understood.
It’s not that way anymore. Here are the factors I consider when I’m posting grades:
- Does s/he remember skills from prior lessons as they complete current lessons?
- Does s/he show evidence of learning by using tech class knowledge in classroom or home?
- Does s/he participate in class discussions?
- Does s/he complete daily goals (a project, visit a website, watch a tutorial, etc.)?
- Does s/he save to their network folder?
- Does s/he try to solve tech problems themselves before asking for teacher help?
- Does s/he use core classroom knowledge (i.e., writing conventions) in tech projects?
- Does s/he work well in groups?
- Does s/he use the internet safely?
- Does s/he [whichever Common Core Standard is being pursued by the use of technology. It may be ‘able to identify shapes’ in first grade or ‘able to use technology to add audio’ in fourth grade]?
- Does s/he display creativity and critical thinking in the achievement of goals?
- Has student progressed at keyboarding skills?
- Anecdotal observation of student learning (this is subjective and enables me to grade students based on effort)
- Grades on tests, quizzes, projects
I’m tempted to put everything in a spreadsheet, award a value, calculate a total and find an average. Then–Magic! I have a grade! It’s risk-averse, explainable to parents and Admin, a comfort zone of checklists and right-and-wrong answers. But, I know I can’t do that. In an inquiry-based classroom, too much is a subjective analysis, a personal evaluation of the student’s uniqueness. I can’t–and don’t want to–get away from that approach.
What do you use that I haven’t mentioned? I’m already thinking ahead to the next grading period.
Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor of a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum, and creator of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. She is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, presentation reviewer for CSTA, Cisco guest blogger, a monthly contributor to TeachHUB, columnist for Examiner.com, featured blogger for Technology in Education, and IMS tech expert. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller that should be out to publishers next summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.