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Thinking Out Loud about SBG

Posted on June 30th, 2013

I’ve spent the morning reading Shawn’s SBG manifesto <link> and began reading Kelly’s <link> thinking about how the assessment items should complex, assessing 3 – 4 standards. I also just returned to Jonathan’s page and looked at some of his assessment items. The couple I have looked at are not assessing more than one standard at a time, e.g. evaluating a piece-wise defined function.

What is the best way to go, more focused single focused questions or rich (and difficult) problems? I suspect the truth is a combination of the two.

Both Shawn and Kelly are teaching pretty high powered students looking at what and where they are teaching.  I want to implement SBG in a class that has low achieving students. I’ll be willing to bet, based on previous years, 1/3 will have learning plans.  I’m not complaining as I seriously do like accommodating and adjusting to meet students learning needs. This always benefits students that do not have learning plans.  I think I can do this better with single standard questions.

Another tool that I think will help to assess where students need help is using some kind of online HW system. Something that regenerates problems with different numbers. This requres the student demonstrate understanding. This kind of HW can’t be copied from a neighbor. I don’t see any reason NOT to include this as part of a student’s grade. I’m talking about something like I’ll have to dig deeper to see if it has enough problems for this IM Data course. I have been using MOM and the Lippmann text <link> for both my HS and CC courses. I’m liking it.

I still can’t get away from thinking there is great benefit in learning how to solve a problem using an algorithm as then maybe you can apply it to a more complex problem. If you don’t have a toolkit, you can’t build anything.  Knowing the algorithm can help to us to solve more complex problems. Granted, the algorithm will not in itself help us but having as a tool to use may help us to break a problem up into solvable chunks.

Using weighted categories instead of total points is also weighing on my mind. I like to think that the way I have assigned point values to graded work does essentially the same thing, but maybe not.