A university professor who has been teaching English for more than 30 years regrets that 'I should have stopped scoring on the test sooner', what is the new evaluation style that does not give grades?

There are many students who feel uncomfortable during the test period, and many who have had a hard time with assignments such as essays when they were students. The results of the test are important in determining the grades of subjects and credits, but the background of how a veteran professor who has taught English literature at university for more than 30 years stopped grading in the written test and the evaluation of grades in place of it. Discusses style.

I no longer grade my students' work – and I wish I had stopped sooner


According to Elizabeth Gruner, who teaches children's literature and Victorian literature at the University of Richmond in the United States, it was in the 1940s that the 'rating method' for grading 'A to F' became widespread in American educational settings. .. However, this system of ranking student grades says, 'Students who did not have prior knowledge at the beginning have lower scores on the initial test, so even if they learn the content of the subject later, the final average score. 'Instead of measuring the effectiveness of students' learning, it is demoralizing and increases stress,' Gruner points out.

In addition, when the new coronavirus infection forces us to switch to distance learning, many educational institutions 'pass / fail' grades for the purpose of reducing student stress and improving racial inequality. We have taken the policy of using two types. However, in the end, the desired effect was not obtained, so the actual situation was that the rating method was restored.

On the other hand, Mr. Groener had shifted to a policy of stopping grading the grades of the dissertation assignments from around 2018, before the pandemic occurred. There are three reasons for this.

◆ Reason 1
The first reason Gruner stopped rating grades was that he wanted him to focus on his comments on the assignments submitted by the students. Once you've rated it, your students will just look there. However, by discontinuing the rating, students are now able to focus on Mr. Groener's feedback on his assignments.

◆ Reason 2
The second reason is that there are educational disparities. Students who have been blessed with educational opportunities can write treatises with an 'A' or 'B' rating from the beginning, so they will choose Mr. Gruner's lectures based on their grades. Therefore, Mr. Gruner was often struck by the illusion that 'I am not rating the grades of the students, but the background of the students.'

◆ Reason 3
The last reason is personal, simply because Mr. Groener doesn't like to rate students' grades. On the other hand, Mr. Gruner liked teaching students and giving feedback to them. Freed from the obligation to rate students, Gruner wrote thought-provoking comments, suggested improvements, and interacted with students in their treatises. , It seems that more meaningful lessons have become possible.

Mr. Gruner has stopped rating for the above reasons, but since Mr. Gruner teaches at the university, he has to give some evaluation to the students at the end of the semester. Therefore, at the end of the semester, Mr. Gruner has a style in which he submits an essay that looks back on his learning and evaluates it, and he gives his own grades.

Gruner has the authority to modify student self-assessment, but he says he rarely does so. He also seems to make upward revisions as often as he makes downward revisions to overestimations.

When Mr. Gruner first declared that he would not score, the students were confused and asked various questions. For example, Mr. Gruner's answer to the question, 'Can you tell me your grades if you ask?' Is 'No.' Because, literally, I haven't scored.

Also, the answer to the question 'Are you going to revise your grades in the middle of the semester?' Is 'No'. This is because Mr. Gruner evaluates throughout the lesson, not the results of individual exams or assignments. In addition, for students who say, 'I don't know how much I'm in this class,' 'I know how much I'm progressing from my comments on your assignments and dialogue with me.' It should be. '

Since adopting this 'ungrading' style, Mr. Groener has seen a lot of things. For example, it turned out that a certain percentage of students who took lectures on children's literature chose lectures that were easy to read and could easily earn credits because they were not confident in their academic ability. rice field. For such students, Mr. Gruner seems to let them experience that they can improve their abilities and achieve their goals even if they are not confident in their academic ability. I also learned that it is important for students to look back on the goals they set at the beginning, middle, and end of the lesson and have them revise them as needed.

As a result of over time reviewing and improving this style, Groener's assessment and student self-scoring are almost always in perfect agreement. In addition, most of the students, including those who started taking lessons due to lack of education and lack of preparation, can now feel the growth, and one student thanked Mr. Groener, 'Thank you for treating me as an adult.' It seems that he said the words.

From these experiences, Gruner said, 'I'm sure they benefit from my guidance, but that's what they get from the experience of'deciding what's important in their reading and writing.' It may be bigger than that, and it is a great advantage for me to be able to help students learn and grow without being tied to a rating. '

in Note, Posted by log1l_ks