Link to jeanne's birdie calendar. Choosing Measures for Grading

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Choosing Measures for Grading


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Created: December 24, 2001
Latest Update: January 29, 2001

How to Decide On
Measures for Your Learning

This file offers guidance for you on how to select measures for grading that will best meet your learning style and strengths. Follow the links and read in some detail how you learn. Think carefully about your If you have any difficulty with understanding this process, please come by our office ( SBS B 336) in the first few weeks for help. jeanne

We insist that you write, because writing is still important to communication and affords a richness of experience we think higher education should afford you. I insist that you e-mail your contributions, and keep them relatively short so that I can give them the attention I think matters.

  1. Self-Report Measures: Up to 20% of Grade

    Why self-report? Because learning is complex and on-going. We do not wish to encourage the structurally violent attitude that someone else can describe your knowledge accurately and/or that there is some place and time at which we can evaluate your learning and certify you as good, better, or best in this particular knowledge area. What matters is that you discover the areas and skills in which you are strongest, that you develop those strengths and learn to share them cooperatively with others whose strengths, though different, will complement your own.

    Respecting your agency in your own learning, we rely upon your assessment of your learning. That means that you need to find an effective way of telling us what you have discovered about your strengths and how you have managed to share them cooperatively within this class. To this end we ask that you keep a journal of your learning AND of your study. The journal is yours, for your use in assessing your learning, and we don't plan to read it. That's your job, so that you can more effectively tell us what you have learned in ways that we can understand.

    1. Self-Tests

      These are for you to test your general database knowledge of the material we have covered. We provide plausible answers and references to sources so that you can use that feedback to learn anything you might have missed. In the interest of removing the adversarialism of the dominant discourse, and transforming our discourse to one of mutuality, we encourage cooperation on self-tests. Help each other. We ask only that you assure us in your report of learning that you have covered the materials and understand them.

    2. Journal

      Last semester I was amazed at the variation in journals. Some of you had filled notebooks, and though willing to share them briefly, most of you weren't willing to let your journals go. Most of those who had faithfully kept journals were as amazed as I was at how much we had covered, and how extensively you had noted that. See Notes on Keeping a Journal of Learning.

    3. Dictionary Records

      An excellent way to measure your own latent learning is to mark the pocket dictionary I asked you to keep with you. Place a checkmark by each word you look up. Check the word again, every time you look it up. I have found that I have to look up some words, like "egregious," an average of about 17 times before they become mine. But six check marks tell me that the word is about 6/17ths mine. That gives me a good measure of my own latent learning curve.

  2. Creative Measures: 80% of Grade

    1. Latent Learning: Up to 20% of Grade There are ways, like accruing check marks for words you look up, that indicate to us latent learning, that is, learning before you reach the stage at which you could discuss the concept or issue in essay form. We offer you the opportunity to earn some of your grade by these means:

      1. Asking Questions. If something isn't clear to you, trust me, there are others to whom it's not clear. This let's me clarify points for everyone, on the site.

      2. Summarizing briefly what we actually covered in class. This lets me post notes for those who have to come late, leave early, or miss class. That gives us all more flexibility to study more effectively, and it helps me remember what happened serendipitously.

      3. Sharing Your Knowledge. Tell me or e-mail me when you share your knowledge with classmates or family or friends. This lets me know that you are discussing these issues and making the concepts your own. To this end, you may work with classmates on all the requirements for this class.

      4. Sharing Your Silence. Some of us are quieter than others. Some of us prefer to write rather than speak out in class. Some of us prefer to remain silent until we are confident of what we know. Some of us just plain prefer to remain silent. I owe this understanding to Valencia Ross and LaTanya Britt. It took them three semesters to get me to understand that silence is the way some prefer to speak. If silence is your preferred mode of communication, you need to remember that I must understand that. Be sure you find a way to share that silence with me effectively. You might look at how Marlene Veliz shared her silence with us in Fall 2000.

    2. Venturing Out to Speak on Your Own: Up to 20% of Grade

      1. I think I've got it! Then add 25 words or less on what you think "it" is. This lets me see what you're thinking, and correct course, if necessary. And when you e-mail it to me, then I can correct course for everyone, on the site.

      2. Reactions to Reading. Give me a brief summary of how you react to specific readings. This will often prove of use for class discussions. And it lets me add theoretical material to share with you how many others have had the same reactions.

    3. Analysis and Synthesis: Up to 80% of Grade

      1. Participation in Academic Discourse Forum If this is oral participation, you will need to summarize it by e-mail, so that I can add it to the site. These pieces are ones you have thought over and to ask for or give clarification on how the issues are conceptually linked to our discussions or readings.

      2. Participation on Research Team Contribution of ideas and efforts to preparation of professional papers for presentation at meetings.

      3. Presentation of Professional Paper Actual presentation at conference or workshop required.

    4. Interactive Projects: Up to 40% of Grade

      1. Who's Who in Academic Discourse

        Interactive preparation with the teacher of a few paragraphs that explain your contribution to our local discourse. This must be done over time. It cannot be managed in a single session, and the student must contribute some of the writing.

      2. Debriefing

        Debriefing report, following Howard Richards's descriptionon a field excursion or project on the role of theory and "lived" experience. We will plan these projects cooperatively in the theory lab section. Although the debriefing is oral, there should be a written summary for the site. Written by you, not the teacher!

    5. Measuring and Reporting Your Own Learning:
      Up to 10% of Grade
      It is difficult to control your own path, choose readings that fit your own interests, and still be assured that you are meeting externally imposed criteria. If you will share with me how you are managing this, it will let me see how to help others adapt to this non-structurally violent approach to measuring learning.

  3. Essay Exams: Up to 60% of Grade (Midterm and Final).

    Exams, like everything else in this course, are optional. They are provided as self-tests, in the hope that you will enjoy seeing how much you have learned. You may elect to count each of them for up to 30% of the grade. The exams will be drawn from the discussion questions on the site.