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teaching in oklahoma since 2007

So I’m planning on using a standards-based grading system in my classes next year.  I’ve previously created (and shared) a concept list for my AP Calculus AB class.  I’ve also been working on the additional concepts needed for my AP Calculus BC class, but do not have those ready to share (not yet anyway).  One of the next major pieces of the new assessment model is the grading rubric.  I’ve been working on one and have borrowed ideas from a couple people I’ve seen around the internet.

I’m drawn to the 4-point scale because I like the correlation to a GPA.  It makes more sense to me that way.  However, because of some gradebook software limitations (yes I know ActiveGrade is available, but I do still need to use my school’s software of choice and have to find some way to enter grades there as well), I think a 5-point scale would be easier for entering grades(0 is 5/10, 1 is 6/10, 2 is 7/20, etc. and yes I am of the opinion that a 0 is unnecessarily harmful to a student’s grade).  I’m just not entirely sure I can break up my grading rubric into that many pieces.  Here is the current 4-point scale I’m thinking of using:

4 means that you understand the concept and solve problems with no errors

3 means that you understand the concept, but make computational errors

2 means that you almost understand the concept, but make conceptual errors

1 means that you are unable to complete the problem independently

0 means that you have shown no evidence of learning the concept

I like this rubric and think that it will be very easy for me to use consistently on all of my assessments, but I’m also thinking that I should have a 5 for being able to connect concepts/use them in novel situations (to borrow a phrase from one of the aforementioned rubrics).  Any ideas or thoughts on the 4-point versus 5-point scale would be appreciated.

In summation: I like the 4-point scale as a GPA style assessment and I like how clearly defined and easy to apply my rubric is in this case.  However, a 5-point scale would be easier to enter into traditional grade reporting software and would allow for another level to the rubric that might be able to differentiate between the kids who understand each concept and the kids that understand and can make connections between the concepts.  I’m just not sure how to assess that part.



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