Research: Evidence has grown over the last century to show that traditional grading practices are subjective, ineffective, and often irrational. Time and time again studies demonstrate that when grades are used as punishment or to give students a “reality check,” the focus moves away from student learning and engagement plummets. Best grading practices include accurate, specific, and timely feedback that provide students opportunities for growth rather than marking them failures, and result in higher student performance, fewer disciplinary actions, and improved engagement and morale.
Practice: Our grading system largely reflects our philosophy and our goal of creating confident, lifelong learners. We use grading to highlight student strengths, honor their efforts, document mastery, and encourage the learning process. As a result, students develop positive self-concepts as learners and are more open to challenging themselves academically, leading to increased student performance.