I've been struggling for years with grading strategies for the formative assessments of understanding for the flipped video lessons; I call them "Need2Know quizzes" and I want students to retake them as needed, to at least gain proficiency of basic facts, terms, events, etc. 100%, 85%, 60%, 50% ... these are all numbers, and they're mainly arbitrary.
Last week I kind of got called out in front of class by a girl in the back row: "I think these videos and quizzes and things are just about having to memorize stuff. And I watch them and remember it for the quiz the night before, but then it just goes out of my head." Other students were making the nonverbal hand gesture of agreement, so I knew this was a legitimate issue. In my mind (and in my notebook scribbles), the Need2Know details have relevance for bigger questions, topics, skills, etc. ... but many students did not see the connection. What if the formative could be more directly linked to the summative? That's how I arrived at the chart below:
To 'climb the ladder', the proficient students can begin work on their response (1 or 2 paragraphs) right now. Some will take the time to aim for a higher grade by incorporating manifest destiny (which I have proof that they understand), and some will do what historians do: connect / compare / contrast to improve the story. The "D" students had homework Wednesday night: revisit the video and improve their understanding. Today they should be able to retry the quiz, which climbs them to a "C" grade. That's the same grade as their peers earned yesterday. Is that fair? Well, the re-takers have less time before Monday to work on their response to the question. Some might need more than one re-attempt, and it's technically possible that a student never proceeds beyond "D" if they don't gain proficiency of this topic. Sad but true.
Monday is the deadline (unless I give extension to account for student absence). Your grade will depend on how much understanding you showed before Monday's class. There must be a deadline. Those dates can be somewhat arbitrary too, but I can't juggle dozens of units and questions and assignments. You might argue that "Retakes are not a part of the real world." I will dispute that directly another time (driving tests? SATs? marriage??), but I must agree that "Deadlines are a part of the real world": April 15 is Tax Day, holiday shopping must get done before Xmas, and I have to plan lessons before class. Even if that means getting up before 6AM to make sure they're done, and even if they look like the scrawlings of a serial killer....
[updates coming soon]