Quiz Corrections

Before I started Standards Based Grading, I used to use Test Corrections where students could make up half of the points.  Now that I don’t use points (or give “tests”), that system didn’t make sense, so I didn’t use it.  However, I really liked the idea of students reflecting on their mistakes, as well as the chance to fix their mistakes, so I decided to bring it back with “Quiz Corrections”.

If students do the following three steps:

  1. Get the right answer.
  2. Show your work (or explain why it’s the right answer).
  3. Write two (2) sentences why you got it wrong.

then they get a 4 (mastery) on the standard.  This only works because I take the average of their last two grades in a standard, so getting a 4 after getting a 1 gives them a 2.5 (still not passing), which means to actually earn a 4, they have to come in and re-take the standard and get a 4 on the quiz (which I’m cool with).  Here’s a list of reasons why I think this is a good system:

  • Students must do every single problem in order to earn the 4–no partial credit.  This rewards students who were “pretty close” on the quiz because they have less to do.
  • Before this, students had to retake a quiz twice in order to have a chance at getting a 4 if they didn’t the first time around. Now they have the option to spend some time reflecting on what they got wrong and then taking a quiz to demonstrate understanding later.  They’re looking at the material at least 2 more times on their own outside of class, so I win.
  • This is good for students who prefer to write and who can improve through writing.  The more options students have to demonstrate mastery, the better the students are for it.
  • I do put a time limit on it of “within a week of me handing it back” so I don’t get a bunch of really old quizzes that I have to remember how to grade.
  • Students have (another) reason to pay attention in sessions when their peers are teaching them material that we’ve already learned.
  • Some students were frustrated by the fact that they had to take 2 quizzes.  They would rather spend much more time doing something to make sure they get a 4 than studying and perhaps getting another low grade.  (They don’t realize that effective studying would essentially guarantee them a 4 on the quiz.)

Below is the paper that I give to the students.  I think it’s a bit wordy, and I need to get better at striking the fine line between “informative enough” (or covering possible questions) and information overload so they throw the sheet out the window first chance they get.  Next year I’ll definitely shorten it, but this is good for now.



Filed under Teaching

8 responses to “Quiz Corrections

  1. I really like how you are modifying what you know are good practices to fit with the standards-based grading model. My “re-do” policy is very similar. The students have to do all the work and explain why they got it wrong. I also average the revisions with the first attempt. I first started doing this when I made connections between writing drafts before finalizing a writing piece and building mathematical understanding. I haven’t thought of letting them retest following the re-do to show they now have mastery. I want to think about that. Thanks again for sparking reflective thinking.

  2. Wow, this looks so complicated and time-consuming. How many students do you have? I’m an outsider-looking-in at SBG and my fear is that it seems to be a process of looking at each student individually and analyzing their progress on every standard over and over and over again. How does it actually play out in your class?

    • I’ve got 5 classes: 2 Precal (15 students in each class), 2 Chemistry (24 students and 20 students), and 1 Physics (16 students), so I guess that makes 90 total students. And you’re right: the goal is looking at each individual student’s skills and giving them as much feedback as possible. To be honest, many of my quizzes are very similar to previous ones, and I do not often read the quiz corrections in depth. The purpose of those is for students to be self-reflecting, and I’ll return the quizzes if I think they could have reflected more on the questions. In the future I hope that I will get to create more unique assessments for students to have a choice.

      Also, my quizzes are very, very short. The shorter, the better, in my opinion. I want to cover the topic/standard, but shorter quizzes take away less class time and are faster to grade. For example, for a quiz on exponent operations, I might have 5 or so problems: just enough to throw a handful of different operations at students. If students make mistakes, but show their work, I can still give them passing grades. I must say that students are better at showing their work this year than they ever have been because they understand that showing their work can translate to a better grade.

      • Thanks for replying, that is so great that you do this in addition to the many different classes you teach! I do really think that SBG is better, I am just not sure I can handle it.
        One more question – you mentioned a Jasmine. Is this perhaps @jaz_math?

      • I don’t remember mentioning a Jasmine–perhaps you’re thinking of someone else mentioning her?

        If you think SBG is better, I’d definitely recommend trying it. Your flavor of SBG can be as difficult or easy as you’d like. Check out this post for a simpler way to do it… and then go and read all of the rest of his SBG articles: http://goo.gl/LpNkoE

      • reilly1041

        It was in your post called Take a Look…in my Gradebook. You mentioned a jasmine.
        Thx for link to franks posts. I met him this summer!

      • Oh, I see! No, I was referring to the Jasmine who replied in the comments of that post, but I never figured out who that was. It’s possible it’s the same Jasmine!

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