[SBG] Exam Time

Like in previous years, I’m going to allow students to select what is on their exam. This year I’m doing things a little differently in that I’m allowing them to select their entire exam. They may choose between 3 and 4 standards from throughout the year to take. If students need more to pass, they may speak with me, but I require them to get a parent signature ensuring (a) that I’m covered & the parents know they’re not in a good position to pass and, more importantly, (b) that the student is studying a lot each night and doing their best to ensure that they pass this exam.

I use Google Forms for students to sign up for exams and, for the first time, I thought to look at the summary of the responses. Pretty cool stuff here.

Standards to Retake

If you notice, the distribution of what students selected for their 3 (or 4) standards was really evenly distributed, which I think is cool!  It means that students need/want to improve a huge variety of standards, and that everyone didn’t bomb the same one or two quizzes. It also means my job is harder, both for review and creating the exams, but still worth it.

In the graph, we see more recent (within the last month) essential (required to pass) standards are more common, I think, due to students not having as much time to improve those standards. [1] We also see more 2.1 and 2.3 which are two essential standards that I re-assessed the entire class on later in the year. In general, students probably chose later standards because they feel more comfortable re-visiting those, although the standards early in the year were not totally ignored.

I’m struggling with how to do a final in my other two classes (Physics and Precalculus) because of my new format for standards (some are essential and students MUST pass these in order to pass the class). Dilemma: if I give students even one essential standard on the final and a student doesn’t pass it, then they’ve failed the class. This harsh system works during the year because students can retake standards, but as a final format? I’m not a fan.

How do you do your exams if you’re into SBG? Does it replace all of your grades in your grade-book? It is, *gasp*, averaged?!? Or do you have another cool system? Please help!

[1] Or it could be that there wasn’t a progress report sent home since then, so parents didn’t get on students whose only motivation comes from their parents. *Sigh*



Filed under Teaching

2 responses to “[SBG] Exam Time

  1. Long time no chat!
    “How do you do your exams if you’re into SBG? Does it replace all of your grades in your grade-book?”

    For me, I take a look at their achievement profile concerning a particular expectation (standard). How did they do in the beginning, have they improved since then? was it a steady improvement? What types of assessments marked each step of their improvement? How have they done recently?

    So taking that into consideration in my brain – swirl it up with a general term like “professional judgement” I then make a decision.

    The result is typically not averaging… but there isn’t a step-by-step process I go through for a final “mark.” Each student would differ.

    However, I think the fact that there are a large variety of expectations (standards) to aggregate – help this process. The “mark” becomes what is summarized from the big picture.

    I don’t know if this ramble helped at all…

    • You’re right, it has been a while since we’ve chatted!

      Hmm, so you’re saying that for the final grade of each student, you make a decision, but don’t base it on any formula? Or are you not required to submit a final grade for the class, only for each standard? And if you are required to submit a final grade, are you ever worried that their grade is affected by your mood? Or how hard they worked in your class? Do you try to aim for a certain number of A’s, B’s, etc.?

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