Day 25 (of 183) due dates or do dates via #sblchat & @garnet_hillman @drjolly @RoweRikW @megancmomo @kenoc7
I love wednesdays #sblchat – a great recharger midweek, with this weeks theme being around Behavioural Grading (aka don’t.) The bigger storify is here Storify
But one of the questions that came up definitely connected with some work I was doing today; the question of ‘due dates’ and how that should impact a ‘grade’. I’m pretty sure I’m in the same camp as “the grade doctor” @kenoc7 who would say – they’re different. One thing I’ve had confirmed by our voyage into eportfolios, when time is taken away, Learning happens. No artificial deadlines creating stress when units of study go long; pressure for students who are away sick (or on vacation); no assuming that all students will learn about metamorphic rocks by thursday at 10:37.
Surprisingly (really wish there was a sarcasm font) grades aren’t a great motivator for Learning. They are good for motivating the completion of tasks, but the focus isn’t on what is learned, it’s about achieving the highest score….which is different that measuring Learning. That of course led to a discussion around due dates – and how they should impact “scores”….in my opinion – they shouldn’t.
I’ve always been okay with flexible “due dates”. There are enough ‘hard deadlines’ for students to practice with (the connection to today) such as “student votes”. We had an afternoon of student speeches this afternoon, and at lunch one of our youngsters came to me concerned that speeches had to be read today, and he wasn’t finished his….
Natural consequences? I usually prefer sports metaphors (if you don’t have time to practice tackling in football practices, don’t expect the team to know how on game day) – but I liked this one. He could still complete his speech for his teacher. It can still be video’d for his eportfolio. But could we extend the election campaign….nope. Lesson learned about deadlines? Absolutely. Did it mean nothing more could be done – not exactly…but it would be different(iated).
And I like that – because (just like in real life) deadlines almost always have some flex…but often with a consequence…but often empathy. Because we don’t know where our kids are coming from (who had breakfast, who got yelled at, who has extra babysitting, etc) and even when we do know (or think we know) it’s easy to forget in the moment.
More longterm, I like the comment made tonight by @megancmomo made: “Work with students. Due dates in my class are ‘do dates’. Create the culture and expectation that it will get done and it will.” And I couldn’t agree more. It’s been over a decade since I’ve used checkmarks and scores/10. Kids are motivated about the learning process….just work at different rates and speeds.
Is there value in teaching responsibility, accountability and time management. Absolutely. But they don’t need to be reflected in the discussion about what a final assessment (and the attributed score/grade/etc) needs to be (…or should that be ‘wants to be’….). We’re helping students learn, not making kids complete tasks within a certain period of time…right?
So much thinking comes out of #sblchats – wednesday night at 6:00 (pst)