What are grades for?
How should we grade this assignment and the next ones?

Some examples:

Each work is graded according to a bullet list of learning objectives such as:

-The work is complete and delivered in time
-The work is conceptually developed: it is not just a technical exercise, it is approached as an art project. It takes risks, it raises interesting questions, it is emotionally moving etcetera.
-The work is technically accomplished (in relation to the creator’s experience)
-The work is not derivative, I’ve never seen anything like this before.
-The student participated to class: offered critique, helped peers, contributed to discussions (bias danger zone!)

All the items are scored on a scale (A-F) > the average score determines your grade > every work is graded by all peers > the final grade is the average


A- fourth quintile (top 20%)
B- third quintile (20% – 40%)
C- second quintile (middle 20%)
D- first quintile (60% – 80%)
F- bottom 20%

-Students are effectively in competition with each other
-Grade inflation is mathematically impossible
-Does not indicate whether students learned certain things (all of them or none of them might)
-It can be hard to take into account the different levels of experience

Gentle “Art school” ranking

A- fourth quintile (top 20%)
B- Complete assignment
C- Incomplete assignment
D- Did not deliver the assignment/no show

Self Assessment

A set of questions you have to answer, like:

-Is my piece original?
-Is my piece good to the point I’d like the whole world to see it?
-Have I developed my technical skills?
-Did the piece have the effect intended, judging from the class critique?
-Did I take any risks? Got out of my comfort zone? Tried something beyond my ability?
-Did I learn something from my mistakes?
-Did I actively participated to the class during this unit? (offered critique, helped my peers, participate to discussions)
-Based on all of the above my grade is…

Narrative Evaluation

A good explanation here

-A lot of work for the prof, possible only at the end and mid semester
-Redundant with critique
-Not embraced by the university – can integrate but not replace a grade