Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Grading and Progress Grades

Well, the time for progress reports is upon us, and right now many students are just starting to ask, "what is my grade?" It's interesting to hear this question because their grade has been posted to their edu20.org account since the first day of school. Granted, we didn't have many assignments in these first few weeks as we learned how to use the edu20 learning environment.

Many of you, parents, are going to have questions about their grades in technology, and for that you just need to look at a couple of things.
  1. At edu20.org, in their student account they have an assessment/ assignments tab. There they can check for any homework or quizzes they've had, or that they still have to take. If they haven't done the work, then they can do it right there. Almost all my work is handed in on edu20.org
  2. If there are any students who still have grades that are lower than expectations by progress reports, don't worry. They'll go up. The skill that we're learning here for many of us is handing in virtual homework. Almost all my homework is paperless, and many of our students still haven't grasped that yet, especially sixth graders.
How is homework done in tech class?
At the assignments tab in edu20.org I create many "freeform" assignments where students may just be asked a question, and they have to submit an answer or do a little Internet research first. They click on the Submit Answer button and type in their answer to the prompt. This is a totally new way to do homework for may students, but this will most likely be how students turn in work in high school and in college. So you can really see the value of this tool.

Procedure, Procedure, Procedure
To any parent who is watching their student struggle with this, be patient. Really what we're struggling most with is procedure: how to navigate their environment, where the homework tab is, what is my password (which many students seem to forget when they go home). These are all legitimate concerns that will lessen with more exposure. If a student didn't get a satisfactory grade during progress report, it's most likely simply a procedural problem that will fix itself simply by turning in homework or taking that darned quiz! That grade can go up with the click of a mouse.

Thanks for now, and, like always, let me know what you think!

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