Creating personalized activities to effectively and fairly promote each student’s individualized learning path requires some gradebook planning
Because personalized activities are unique to each student, making them gradable can impact each student’s grade differently.
While grading activities, Trina (teacher) notices that Carlos (student) is consistently performing poorly on activities in the “Gobsmacked: The Solar System and You” unit.
It seems that Carlos failed to learn the unit foundations, so Trina creates a gradable personalized activity intended to help him catch up. Carlos completes the activity and it seems to improve his performance; he also starts reporting greater interest in the material.
Upon calculating grades at the end of the unit, Trina realizes that this additional activity is given significantly more weight than the regular activities in the unit and is giving Carlos an advantage that the other students didn’t get. At this juncture, simply decreasing the weight isn’t an option because Carlos has been monitoring his grades.
To maintain fair and manageable grading practices and avoid situations like this, you should plan at the beginning of a grading cycle how you will integrate gradable personalized activities with the regular graded curriculum.
When adding gradable personalized activities, consider the following:
- How do the points you attribute to the activity compare to the points given to other activities in the category and/or course? If a personalized activity ends up carrying more weight than other activities, it might impact a student’s final grade more than you want it to.
- How many opportunities are you providing each student to earn points with gradable personalized activities? If the distribution of gradable personalized activities is skewed too much, you may be giving some students significantly more opportunities to earn and/or lose points.
- How does counting gradable personalized activities as extra credit impact final grades? If extra credit opportunities outweigh regular curriculum grades or are unevenly offered, they can skew final grades.