Discovering The Truth About Systems

February 19, 2019

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Understanding Standards-Based Grading Systems and How It Improves the Quality of Education

The article focuses on the new innovation in education as an introduction to tutors and parents to better improve the child’s performance. Standards-based grading also measures students learning and offers itself to understand the effectiveness of instruction. The ability of teachers to track the students’ progress enables them to custom make the instructions to fit the individual student needs according to their performance in each of the “learning targets”. Students were previously created according to the percentage of the work that they had successfully completed as a result of the tutor’s instruction. The traditional grading scale had the letters of the alphabet A, B, C, D and F to differentiate students in the ranks. Grade number four shows an advanced mastery, grade number three shows that the student meets the expectations of the target, grade number two is a demonstration of partial mastery of the target or a partial understanding or the student can perform portions of the target with some assistance, grade number one shows little or no mastery as the student cannot demonstrate mastery even with the instructor’s assistance. Typical skills of 1-4 reflect student’s increasing skill in the subject and an instructor can know how to well address the issue from the progress. This enables the students to continue working and learning until they are able to achieve the target and is therefore viewed as a ladder where students climb up, one rung at the time, and eventually reached the top. Some of the students’ progress immediately they receive instructions but most of them do not. A continuous understanding of the student’s mastery by the teacher makes them to adopt to the individual instructional needs and discourses education to be more effective and engaging.

Traditional grading systems simply give cause such as 9/10 or 85% for a certain completion of work which is not as effective as teachers giving feedback on the tests performed and the skills used. Standards-based grading systems motivates the students as they feel that they have certain strengths even though they didn’t perform really well and are enabled by the instructor to see what they can improve their weaknesses. “Learning targets” in standards-based grading written in student-friendly language so as they can understand the cause of the instructions well. Students can self-assess themselves and be able to reflect upon their own performance.

Standard-based grading systems neutralize this problem as the teachers will know which students are in level 1, 2 or 3 and enables the instructor to offer a level appropriate work to improve the students. This particular kind of instruction is called “differentiated instruction” or simply DI in short.

Working for mastery is an intrinsic motivator to students and this transforms some of the students’ attitudes. In standards-based grading, scores go up as students learn and therefore it provides little room for early mistakes and enables them to have a reflective mastery at the end of the course.

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