Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Question

Although up to this point, I've been extremely satisfied with the process of SBG, I've started thinking about one negative aspect it may have. I've realized that I currently have all threes and fours, which means I've earned a 95 in the class. Now, what would happen if, one day before the semester ended, I did a sloppy blog post that merited twos across the board? Would that one mistake negate the work I've done for the rest of the year?

Then, consider the flip side of this coin. Suppose a student did nothing the entire year, but one day before his or her cumulative grade was posted put together an exceptional piece of work--one that deserves entirely fours? Would this earn this person a perfect score for the class?

It seems to me that any grading system should reflect the student's knowledge of the entire curriculum--not just what content was covered most recently. But how can this hole in the system be fixed? The scores for each standard cannot be averaged--one runs into the problems that are present in the averaging system.

The more I reflect on this problem, the greater its magnitude seems. The grade that will go on my transcript should reflect my understanding of the entire world of biology, not just the content area that I have most recently learned. 

I'm curious to see how this problem will be resolved--and I hope some other SBG'ers will comment and give me some ideas. 


  1. Michael,
    I do think that the more recent assessments of a student's knowledge should be given greater weight, provided those assessments are a fair test of what the student is capable of. I guess averaging doesn't work well within a standard, but ignoring all the past data probably isn't the best solution either. Maybe it should end up as some thoroughly unscientific and subjective discussion between the student and teacher.

  2. I guess what I was thinking when I wrote this primarily concerned S1--the conceptual standard. Should only the knowledge most recently attained be reflected in the earned grade?

    I have a feeling that the answer will involve the Standard 1 Sheet, the purpose of which I must admit I don't fully understand.


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