I’ve fallen into the e-grade trap

The fall has been quick.  We’ve been required to use GradeQuick as a grading program but this is the first year that information opened up to parents and students. In the past, progress reports, printed by teachers, went home regularly and the physical act of handing reports to students nudged me to do more. The act was twofold: I handed out the progress report and students then logged progress on standards into a tracking sheet.

My tracking sheets now languish on the sidelines as I’ve fallen into the trap that students have access to the information online so it is easy for them to stay up-to-date. Whoa! Stop right there and remember the students in years’ past that quickly filed away progress reports without a second glance. The tracking sheets made them look at current levels and set goals. Now there is no accountability. The students who barely looked at reports in class are likely not hopping online to check each time reports are updated.

I feel that instead of getting students more involved in progress, the lack of accountability lets most ignore what is happening. A key element of a standards-based system is that students must be part of the conversation about their learning. I need to bring the active tracking back to my classroom. At the moment, I think I have to go back to regularly printing out updates but look forward to finding new solutions.

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3 thoughts on “I’ve fallen into the e-grade trap

  1. Frank – I am curious about your tracking sheets. We use a grading program with home access. It’s easy to assume that students will check their grades and be motivated to participate in tutorials or arrange to retake quizzes and tests. Some students have this process – they own their learning. Some students do not. I’m trying to figure out how to engage those unengaged students. Ideas??

    • I definitely agree that it is easy to assume that students are checking up with class reminders but I think the reality is different. At least for my middle school students, most need to have an active process in order to engage with their learning. Would it be different if students began learning for understanding at young age? Possibly. I can send you a sample tracking sheet if you would like. I have returned to providing time in class for review of assessments and student progress. This way, I can converse with students and ask them to set goals for improvement. Assessment is about conversation and I think that having students go home and look at a screen removes opportunity for this talk.

      • We have a tracking sheet … curious how yours compares. I haven’t built in enough time for conversation and individual goal setting. So – setting a goal for myself to take a class period to conference with students.

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