cross-posted at Education with Technology
Administrators want accountability for learning in schools. One way to build greater accountability is for teachers to use online grading programs that give students and their parents access to the grades. For example, the teachers can use the free program of Engrade or a commercial program such as Blackboard.
As soon as the teachers enter a grade for any assignment, the overall grade is updated. If students know their updated grades on a regular basis, they can decide how to improve. Parents who have access to their students’ online grades do not have to worry if their children are correctly relaying their grades; they can help direct their children in areas for improvement. For example, when students and parents see a grade of 40/100 for homework, the students and their parents become aware of a critical area for improvement. When students and parents know grades on a daily/weekly basis, they feel on top of things; they do not complain that they did not know the grade until the five week period. Administrators and guidance counselors get fewer complaint phone calls about grades when students and parents receive constant updates on class grading. When students and parents see on-line grades as they are entered, they can nip any problem in the bud. Students can do much better in school.
Likewise, administrator have greater accountability since the teachers become constantly aware of the overall progress of the students. As the teachers enter the most recent quiz grade, they see the previous quiz grades, as well as the overall quiz grade. The teachers see the class average on each quiz so they can decide if they have to re-teach the concept in a different manner. Administrators realize that when teachers use online grading programs, these teachers have up-to-the-moment feedback on how well or poorly the students are doing.
How does your school communicate grades to students and parents so the students can be more successful?
Harry Grover Tuttle teaches English and Spanish college courses at Onondaga Community College and blogs at Education with Technology. He is also the author of several books on formative assessment.