Since standards-based grading is new relative to traditional grading, it may be helpful to compare the two grading methodologies. Traditional grading is easy to spot because it typically involves:
- Simple letter grades.
- Assessments based on teacher-defined criteria.
- A single overall grade per student based on a combination of related and unrelated assessments of skills, knowledge, performance and conduct over a period of time.
The main advantages of this method are simplicity and professional freedom. However, it results in a very limited measure of a student’s abilities. The A on a child’s report card might thrill the parents, but this grade obviously doesn’t convey any precise information. Standards-based grading overcomes this problem. The essential qualities of standards-based grading involve:
- Rubrics with meaningful labels.
- Assessments based on specific state, district or school-wide standards.
- Multiple grades per student: one for each standard that reflects the student’s ability related to the standard at a certain moment in time.
Obviously, this more complete assessment comes at a significant cost: it takes more time! Easy Grade Pro offers tools to help minimize the amount of extra time needed and tools to take advantage of all the new information.