Pre-Conference Assignment

Oh boy, homework! To help answer some common questions about mastery grading, and to prepare you for some new ideas, we have put together this pre-conference assignment. There are two options based on your level of experience with mastery grading.

Please complete the items below by the end of the day on Thursday June 10th.

Are you a novice (new to mastery grading, have never used it before)? Please do these:

  1. Introduction to mastery grading: Read this introduction to the basics of mastery grading (3 pages).

  2. Then, pick one of these and read it (or read them all if you’re interested). They each give a gentle introduction to a different mastery grading style.

    1. Kate Owens: Beginner’s Guide to Standards Based Grading

    2. Austin Mohr: Mastery-Based Exams Are Self-Evidently Better than Traditional Exams

    3. Robert Talbert: Specifications Grading: We may have a winner!

  3. Want to know more? Read one of these (this is optional):

    1. Read “Teaching More by Grading Less (or Differently)” by Schinske and Tanner.

    2. And/or, check out some articles from the recent PRIMUS special issue on Mastery Grading for further reading. These articles are all available for free during June.

Are you progressing (you’ve used mastery grading for at least one semester)? Please do these:

  1. Read the Prologue and Chapter 1 of “Grading for Equity” by Feldman. These are available for free if you enter an email address at the link.

  2. Review “Teaching More by Grading Less (or Differently)” by Schinske and Tanner if you haven’t read it before.

Everyone: Think about your answers to these questions to prepare you for the first few conference sessions:

  1. Why do we grade? (What is the purpose of grades?)

  2. Do grades measure what we want them to?

  3. What messages (implicit and explicit) do we tell students about grades and the grading process?

  4. What would you like to change about your current grading process? Why do you want to change those parts?

  5. What is a class in which you would like to use mastery grading? (We highly recommend choosing a class you’ve taught at least once before, if possible.)