After reviewing my NTPRS 2018 presentation with someone earlier today, I stumbled upon a way to demystify the concept while also providing an option for immediate implementation without ANY changes to those pesky school-mandated, unchangeable grading categories (if you’re in that unlucky situation). In each grading category:
- Create assignments that do NOT count towards the final grade (usually a check box)
- Create ONLY ONE assignment that DOES count towards the final grade
- Use a—ANY—holistic rubric to arrive at that grading category grade
This achieves the same result from the 0% “digital portfolio” category—the thing I’ve been telling people about for a few years—used when you have more autonomy over the gradebook; all of the assignments in each category (which have no impact because they’re not included in the final grade) are used as evidence to arrive at that final number. Now, you can apply the concept no matter how crazy restricted your grading system seems!
Oh, and someone asked what to do if learners don’t self-assess for a few weeks, and DAPS (Department Leaders, Admin, Parents, Students) get nervous there’s no grade (because all those assignments in the gradebook aren’t counting except the one you created for the rubric, right?). Just do what everyone else does in the annoyingly pointless 100-point scale system by assuming an A (e.g. starting Math class with a grade of 100, not 0 like if we had RPG experience points), starting the year off by giving every learner that 95, and then lowering it—maybe—once they self-assess weeks into the school year.
So, here’s an updated rubric, shown below, to use if you have a ton of grading categories, but don’t want to overload learners with that self-assessment part, giving them like 10 sheets to fill out. In this example, there are 4 grading categories (the criteria of which all taken from the Input Expectations rubric, and older Proficiency rubrics), corresponding to common categories, such as Formative Assessment, Participation, Homework, Summative Assessment, though you could add more if you had to (just make new rows and smaller font).