So I want to try SBG (Standards Based Grading), but I got interested in it after I already handed out my syllabus for this year. What can I do? Well, I came across this cool idea from Steve Grossberg called Tiered Assessments. As he explains, it’s not better than SBG, just different, but with a similar idea–you are trying to figure out how well each student understands a very specific set of skills. Steve used Bloom’s taxonomy to create increasingly conceptually difficult questions.
So I took this idea and tried it on a single quiz for my motion unit. I did not have Bloom’s taxonomy in front of me, and although I’m only 2 years out from education grad school, I don’t remember it that well, but I do remember “creating” being at the top and I think my quiz moves up the taxonomy as you move up in difficulty. I also did not warn my Physics students that we would have a quiz, so perhaps it wasn’t the best time to ask them “so, did you like this type of assessment better?!?”, but I did like being able to see where each student sat on the spectrum–and it did really create a spectrum!
Here is the quiz on motion maps (not the most precise name, I know…) if you care to use it, whether as a template or copy it verbatim. Unfortunately, I realized that each question is tackling slightly different skills as well, so although I like the idea, I would probably have to spend more than just 30 minutes on it to really have it match up as well as what Steve and his colleague put together, but it’s a start!
Please let me know what I can do to improve it, or if you have suggestions for future quizzes such as this (call them “Knowledge Demonstration Opportunities”… I know, I know), or if you’re upset with me for even comparing this to SBG at all, please let me know. I think that this is a good intermediate step for those of us who may not have the tools to go all out on SBG, although I saw that Frank Noschese has a neat way to do this as well.
Edit: I wanted to let you know that I hadn’t yet taught my students how to solve the “A” type of problem, so while it may seem like a plug and chug–these students actually had to create their own way to solve. And although a low percentage of them got it, nearly all of the students had good strategies and most of the students make very close guesses based on their models! (Oh, I’m trying out modeling for the first time this year in Physics… I’ll be sure to blog more on that later, too!)