Eliminate Traditional Grades with Digital Feedback

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eliminate traditional grades with SE2R feedback

In this post from our series on strategies for eliminating traditional grades, we feature feedback, using Google–a sneak peek at one part of the new Assessment 3.0: How to Throw Out Your Grade Book and Inspire Learning (Corwin, 2015).

One of the fears of discarding traditional grades, in favor of a system like SE2R (Summarize, Explain, Redirect and Resubmit) is due to confusion about how to efficiently deliver this ongoing feedback in ways that inspire learning.

To deliver effective narrative feedback on a consistent basis, digital tools like Google Drive, Voxer and Kidblog are crucial. These social networks allow teachers to provide written narratives directly next to or beneath student activities, and to create an amazing two-way conversation, which leads to mastery learning.

Imagine replacing traditional grades with SE2R feedback, placed in the comment stream (see video below). The student is Redirected to prior learning with a link to a classroom presentation. He’s then asked to improve the work and Resubmit it. Numerous iterations after feedback is the key to mastery learning. In the traditional grades world, students are typically given a subjective grade; the class moves on to the next activity and learning stops.

Providing feedback in the virtual world entices students to act immediately. In the Google Doc, for example, the student can click on a link to prior learning, make immediate changes to the work product and inform the teacher in the comment stream, when changes have been made. If there’s any confusion, students can use the comment feature to ask questions, and teachers can respond immediately.

Reviewing an activity can take place on your Smartphone or tablet, so this powerful teaching and learning can happen anywhere, meaning the barriers of the classroom are eliminated along with punitive grades.

So, if you want to eliminate traditional grades, use digital feedback with tools like Google Docs, or other social media. Your students won’t be punished by a number or letter, and they’ll love you for teaching them in their world.

For more inspiration on the no-grades classroom, join the Teachers Throwing Out Grades Facebook group and follow the Assessment 3.0 Facebook page. And please add your questions, concerns or anecdotes about eliminating grades in our comment section below.

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Mark Barnes is the author of many education books, including Bestseller Hacking Education, part of his Hack Learning Series, books that solve big problems with simple ideas. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and student-centered learning. Join more than 100,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.
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