Will it take more time to grade reassessments in a SBG classroom?
How long will it take to get used to it?
How long will it take to get used to it?
The answers take more than however many characters Twitter gives you. Let me take a break from my patio obsession to address them.
My answer to the first question is this: If you do it right, it should be faster, not slower, than traditional grading.
BUT, notice I say if you do it right. In my building, it took us a few years to get it right. So how do you do it right? Here are a few rules to live by.
Keep the number of learning targets manageable in number. As I've previously mentioned, we began the process with wayyyyy to many learning targets. We as teachers felt like we were so focused on assessing and reassessing that the teaching and learning was secondary. We decided that this needed to stop. We combined, condensed, and made our assessments more efficient, so that we had 10-12 learning targets per trimester. With fewer assessments given, we were able to spend more time giving quality feedback to the students on those assessments.
Assess kids where they are at. Do your best to assess kids where they are at, not above or below. With regard to question difficulty, traditional tests do one of two things. They (a) attempt to assess at some point in the middle, or they (b) attempt assess all difficulty levels. Both of these are inefficient. If you can assess kids where they are at you'll grade fewer wrong answers; and as any teacher knows, grading goes fast when the kids get it right.
SBG allows us to use a "build" approach: give different tests at different times in an attempt to meet the kids where they are at, students constantly building their learning. In my classroom we have C, B, and A level questions for each learning target. On a 0-4 scale, C=2, B=3, and A=4. For each learning target (LT) a student needs to work their way up. They have to pass the C-level before attempting the B-level and have to pass the B-level before attempting the A-level. We have multiple versions of each so a student can take a level more than once.
The one exception to this is the first attempt for each LT. We give them the C and B levels at the same time initially to expedite the process for our faster learners. Same rules apply though - if they want to get a B on that test they need to do the C and B-levels correctly.
Here are some examples of what C/B/A levels might look like: C / B / A
Be clear with what you expect for each level on each LT. Outline very clearly ahead of time what kids will need to do to reach each level. Students should not be surprised come test day. We hand out skills sheets ahead of time with examples of leveled problems, along with a description of what they'll need to do for each level. This makes it much more likely that they will pass the first time. Less grading.
Shift your thinking away from partial credit. Although we do give 2.5's and 3.5's occasionally if they get close to achieving the B or A levels but not quite, the way we think about giving that partial credit is very different from a traditional tests. In a traditional system, we usually deduct a half a point for this mistake, a point for that mistake, etc etc etc. SBG forces you to use a holistic approach. Assuming the assessment is well-constructed, all you need to do is ask yourself, "to what level do I think this student mastered the material? That goes much faster than hunting for partial credit.
Consider requiring an "opportunity cost". Make students do some sort of problem set or worksheet before allowing them to retake. This almost ensures they will pass. Again, less grading.
Be patient. At first it's going to take you a little longer to grade, mainly because you're not used to it. Be patient with the process. Also, with many different versions of different levels of multiple learning targets, the main challenge is organization. Find a system that works for you. Leverage technology (and student aides) when you can.
So to answer the second question, "How long will it take to get used to it?" I'll say 1-2 months to settle into your sweet spot. It'll take getting a few learning targets under your belt to find that spot both with grading and organization. And it will get even better over time as you continue to think of better and more efficient ways to do things.