JDGI: A New Equitable Grading Acronym

I just spent 12 hours in Grading for Equity Virtual Institute, and my main takeaway comes down to what I’m calling JDGI. After all, no one wants to be judgy, right? Therefore, JDGI is a handy acronym for how to grade equitably. I’m not going to spoil the book, institute, or any of the work that Joe Feldman and Dr. Shantha Smith have been doing, but the basic idea is:

Just Don’t Grade It

Do you give homework? Fine, just don’t grade it. Do you expect students to participate? What if your idea of participation is biased? But OK fine, just don’t grade it. Are you under the impression that effort is observable and measurable? Might wanna check yourself on that one, but alright, just don’t grade it. Do you give tests that result in scores of X/Y points (e.g. 7/10, or 89/100)? Yeah, just don’t grade it (i.e., ditch those points in place of something like concept checklists the student showed they understood).

So yeah, you gotta grade something else…

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Proficiency Grading: The last rubrics you’ll ever need

**Updated Expectations Rubric**

OK, so maybe you’re not ready for a complete grading overhaul, or it might be that you arebut someone else isn’t. In this new post, I offer an example of how to use Proficiency goal rubrics independently within a traditional department-defined system using common grading categories. A simple process would be to keep the categories your department has, and use the Proficiency goal rubrics to grade work. A more complete process requires renaming grading categories for the sake of consistency, and communicating CI principles, but otherwise keeping the weights intact. I describe the more complete process in this post.

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A New Grading System: The last one you’ll ever need (once you’re ready)

**Updated Expectations Rubric**

This grading system is the result of my experience combining common weighted grading categories (e.g. Homework, Unit Tests, Quizzes, etc.) with Standards Based Grading (SBG), and a Classroom Management (adaptation of Robert Patrick’s D.E.A.). Despite overall positive outcomes, the combination had its drawbacks. Besides, the longer I teach, 1) the less explicit instruction I give, and 2) the more streamlined/simple my practices become. From what I’ve learned from veteran teachers, this is a normal progression for a teacher, but I seem to have skipped about 10 years of trial and error. This new grading system is extremely easy to use as a teacher and extremely clear to understand as a student.

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