On Tuesday, I spoke with Sheri who joins us as a former director of technology at Roxbury Prep Charter School here in Massachusetts. Like Kattie, Sheri is part of the Gradeable team to ensure a quality teacher experience. During her time at Roxbury Prep, Sheri learned first hand how important teacher sustainability and accurate grades were for education.
Every four weeks, Sheri was responsible for ensuring all the grades came in for the progress reports she would process for parents. In addition to being a snapshot of students’ progress, the reports helped educators determine who needed tutors, who was at risk of failing, who would benefit from homework club, etc. The way teachers assessed the students hinged on these grades.
The trouble came when teachers couldn’t or didn’t find the time to grade everything. The time adds up real quick, as Sheri explained with some math:
“If you have 60 students who all passed in a homework assignment and it takes 3 minutes (a gross underestimation) to grade each one; that’s 3 hours of grading!”
The reality was that some teachers would wait until the last night of the quarter to grade, and more often than not, grade the things that were easy to grade. It became hard to determine whether or not these grades were truly reflective of the students’ performance. These were the same grades that ranked them among their peers and determined how they would be taught.
But what about that pile of ungraded work? What if the student in question spent a lot of time and effort on that particular lab/homework assignment/paper and didn’t spend as much time on the homework, which you did grade?
So back to the students at Roxbury Prep. Grades told students where they stood, but Sheri was finding that the numbers didn’t necessarily reflect what the students knew or how they were actually doing. “If we’re using data driven instruction,” Sheri said, “that data better be right.”
What drove Sheri to join the Gradeable team is that she believes in the product. Gradeable makes grading easier, and it makes grading everything possible. If you can grade that homework assignment in 1 minute as opposed to 3, that’s 2 hours of your life back (60 students x 1 minute/lab = 60 minutes!) Our tool makes it possible to get those grades as accurate as possible.
Sheri talked about a great way to up the resolution of each students’ snapshot through exit tickets. If you think of grades as a snapshot of student performance, increasing the number of grades means increase the resolution of that picture. Enter exit tickets: a quick, low-stakes assessments at the end of each class to check the learning pulse of your students. Just think a two-question quiz that lets you know who got it / who didn’t get it so you can focus your energies more efficiently.
Intrigued, but wondering how to get started? Or feel intimidated by how much work that might be? Well, Gradeable’s here to help… Find out how to use our online tool for exit tickets at www.gradeable.com.