So I’ll just start this post with my big revelation: Asking students to figure out where to turn something in and then also asking them to explain their learning was too many things all at once and they didn’t have time for it. Ok what does that mean?! Here we go!
So my Google Classroom setup looked like this up to this point in the year. Students would complete activities and then instead of turning them in to an assignment named after that activity, they would find a learning target that matched the activity and turn the activity in there. Then I would give feedback and return the assignment so that the student could either fix it or include another artifact. But a few pieces of feedback that I’ve gotten from students are that they don’t have enough time in class to navigate the learning targets and then also explain what they learned, and also for some this process was just too confusing to begin with (and consequently these students weren’t doing any of the meta cognitive reflection that I wanted to see happen). I realized that we could still have the focus be on reflecting on what students have learned, but organize the assignments by activity. So for iteration number 2 I am reorganizing it to look like this:
So students are still required to submit an artifact showing me that they completed an activity and also explain some aspects of what they were trying to learn from the activity. But the difference is now we’ve taken away any confusion about where to submit that information.
I’m also going to include due dates so that they know a general timeline for when I’m expecting things to be submitted. I am 100% sure that someone will ask about “points off” in class tomorrow, so that will be a nice segue into how I’ll also be adding a score to each assignment when they turn it in. The plan is to put a number 0 through 4 on any assignment that I’ve looked at. I’m not thinking of this number as a grade; it’s more like a signal that there is something still to be done. A lot of feedback that I gave first quarter was either unread or not responded to. I think by putting a two out of four on something it may prompt the student to read the feedback and respond to it in order to get the number up to a four. It also should make our one-on-one conferences in class go a little quicker because we can look at the whole list of student work and see which ones are fours and which ones aren’t there yet.
Then coming up with a grade should still work about the same way. I’m still interested in whether or not they’re completing activities and keeping everything organized and I’ll be able to see this in their notebook and in Google classroom. And I’m still interested in whether or not they’re mastering the skills of the class. This is the one that is slightly different because I’ll still be basing this assessment on their explanations in classroom, which will no longer be organized by learning target. But what I’m hoping is that we should still be able to come to a reasonable conclusion about their mastery of the various skills even if we don’t have the portfolio organized by learning target. Maybe this means it will be nice to have a printout of some of the learning targets on my clipboard when we do the conferences? We’ll see. Either way I think this will improve the feedback cycle of students submitting work, getting feedback, and then resubmitting once they’ve improved. If this means we sacrifice a bit on the SBG side of things, I think that’s okay. We’ll figure it out as we go. 😉