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He goes on to specify that grades recorded must measure the student’s achievement of the learning goals established at the outset of the unit.This suggestion is aligned with the information provided by Cauley and Mc Millan (2009), which emphasizes the importance of setting mastery goals prior to the instruction process.
Cauley and Mc Millan (2009) define formative assessment as, “A process through which assessment-elicited evidence of student learning is gathered and instruction is modified in response to feedback” (p. The authors suggest the use of feedback in the process, but suggest a steering away from performance-goal oriented extrinsic motivators such as grades.
Emphasis on performance and grades during the formative process can be detrimental to eventual student achievement because it might shift student focus away from their goal of mastery of course material to concern over the way their abilities might be judged by their peers (Cauley & Mc Millan, 2009, p. Constructive feedback throughout this process maintains the focus on mastery goals created at the outset, and provides the student with the support necessary to make connections between new learning and prior knowledge.
As a means to an end, should one centralized school or district policy govern homework, or should some flexibility exist?
Education consultant Ken O’Connor (1999) suggests eight guidelines for successful assessment, which includes a directive to not mark every single assignment for grades, but rather take a sampling of student efforts in order to assess how much they have learned.
They also convey the idea that feedback, and not grades, should be used during the learning process, as formative assessment takes place.
The true measurement of what the student has learned comes at the end of that learning process, in the form of a summative assessment, which Mc Tighe and O’Connor (2005) suggest also be used at the outset of the unit to establish realistic performance goals: This practice has three virtues.Mc Millan, Myran and Workman (2002) conducted a study of over 900 teachers in order to investigate the assessment and grading practices in practice.The authors used surveys returned by a sample of 901 participating teachers of grades 3-5, representing a total population of 1,561 teachers of those grade levels from 124 schools near Richmond, Virginia.They take into consideration, the varying learning curves of different students, and their progress toward goals set at the beginning of the unit.A student will likely have a greater mastery over the unit material at the end of instruction, than at the outset of instruction.The majority of the assessment for the students was derived from test and quiz scores, or other forms of summative assessment.O’Connor (1999) begins his list of eight guidelines for successful assessment with the indication that the only acceptable basis for student grades is their own individual achievement.Good and Brophy (2003) indicate that many view homework as, “An important extension of in-school opportunities to learn” (p. While some proponents of homework believe in its purpose, a question still persists about the role of homework in determining the student’s grade.Should homework be assigned and graded on a regular basis, or should it be viewed as an educational means to an end?The researchers cite several general conclusions based on their findings, including the importance, and apparent lack, of homework policies in existence.Despite the pervasive nature of homework in every participating school, only 50% of the schools indicated the existence of a written homework policy. 68) Homework is seen as a valuable resource for teaching, allowing students to practice, and in doing so, learn the unit material.