Going Gradeless in a Score-Obsessed Learning Environment: Progress Update

My LMS has some nifty features that will help me switch from “total points” to a standards-based assessment system.

(Day 20 of my 30-Day Writing Challenge)

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Yesterday’s post included a review of chapter 7 of Going Gradeless by Elise Burns and David Frangiosa, plus a “punch list” of items for “hacking” my LMS to make the transition from “total points” to “standards-based.” I have uncovered a few things since then, and want to share my progress with you.

Here’s a link to yesterday’s post.

View at Medium.com

Items from My Punch List

Defining Skill Categories

In AP Literature and Composition, the College Board has defined seven skill categories.

  1. Explain the function of character.
  2. Explain the function of setting.
  3. Explain the function of plot and structure.
  4. Explain the function of narrator or speaker.
  5. Explain the function of word choice, imagery, and symbols.
  6. Explain the function of comparison.
  7. Develop textually substantiated arguments about interpretations of part or all of a text.

The curriculum writers then expand upon those categories with discreet skills students are expected to master by the end of the course. These skill categories have become what Burns and Frangiosa referred to as process standards.

Adding the Skill Categories to the Google Site

I have modified my Google site to include these skill categories, and am further developing this section of the site to make it user-friendly.

That is as far as I got this morning, I am somewhat embarrassed to say. However, I did discover something as I was exploring the LMS I’d like to share.

Custom Learning Objectives

Last year, I added custom learning objectives for AP Lit, and I am going to use them this year as I transition, with a twist.

Currently, all skill categories and discrete skills are in the same learning objectives folder. Consequently, applying the right standards to an assignment is going to be quite difficult if I keep it that way.

Instead, I have created folders for each “Big Idea” (Character, Setting, Structure, Narration, Figurative Language, and Literary Argumentation) and its skill category. Into the folder, I have added the category as an objective again, and in the description, I have added each discrete skill for that category.

Heather Edick
Heather Edick

When I align assignments in the future, I can use that first objective in the assignment’s rubric, as well as the end-of-marking period evaluation.

By using that objective, assessing mastery toward each skill category should be easier. I can add comments as I evaluate the assignment, indicating the student’s performance related to each skill.

Tomorrow’s post will include an update on my progress!

Thank you for reading this, my twentieth post in my 30-Day Writing Challenge, and for letting me be part of the conversation.

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