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:
- Get the right answer.
- Show your work (or explain why it’s the right answer).
- 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.