I Let Students Choose Their Grading Criteria, and Here’s How It Went

Title: I Let Students Choose Their Grading Criteria, and Here’s How It Went

Author: Amy Szczepanski

Published: February 2, 2024

Source: [Original Article]

Summary:

Amy Szczepanski, a science teacher, shares her experience of allowing students to choose their final project topics and grading criteria, resulting in increased engagement and personalized learning experiences.

Implementation Process:

  1. Student Autonomy: Students were given the freedom to select their final project topics related to biology or chemistry, along with the format to demonstrate their knowledge.

  2. Collaborative Rubric Development: Szczepanski collaborated with students to develop personalized grading rubrics based on their chosen projects and individual abilities. Students had the opportunity to propose modifications and adjustments to the rubrics.

  3. Diverse Project Outcomes: The final projects showcased a wide range of creativity and ingenuity, from Minecraft models of DNA to presentations on the chemistry of photography, tailored to students' interests and strengths.

  4. Accountability and Evaluation: Students were accountable for meeting the criteria outlined in their personalized rubrics. By involving students in the grading process, Szczepanski fostered trust and connection, shifting the focus from compliance to genuine learning outcomes.

Benefits:

  1. Increased Engagement: Allowing students to choose their topics and grading criteria resulted in heightened enthusiasm and commitment to learning, with students investing more effort into projects aligned with their interests.

  2. Personalized Learning: The approach facilitated individualized learning experiences, catering to students' diverse learning styles and preferences.

  3. Empowerment and Ownership: Students felt empowered to advocate for themselves and negotiate grading criteria, fostering a sense of ownership over their learning journey.

  4. Teacher-Student Connection: Szczepanski noted a stronger sense of connection and trust between herself and her students, as the grading process became a collaborative endeavor.

Conclusion:

Szczepanski concludes that by relinquishing control over grading criteria and empowering students to take ownership of their learning, educators can unlock students' potential and foster a deeper connection to the learning process. The approach not only enhances student engagement but also nurtures a sense of accountability and mutual respect within the classroom.

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This summary was created with the assistance of AI software.

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