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Assessment [Question]

A for Effort!

Started on Jul 25, 2012 by Jenncook678
Last post on Feb 04, 2013

To help my students gain confidence in their artistic ability I allot a substainal part of their mark to effort. I truly believe that this is what I should be doing, but I am having a hard time quantifying what outstanding effort is. How do other people gauge or deal with effort in their classroom?

1 Keeps, 0 Likes, 7 Comments

  • Artist_RhiCG 08/19/2012 at 08:00pm
    In my high school classes my grades are broken down as follows: 50% - Effort, 30% - neatness, 20% - Imagination/Creativity. The effort part is gauged on how they work on their projects and participate in discussion. If they are walking around the room, talking loudly, don't have their work out, complain consistently, if they don't take the discussion seriously (make rude remarks and such) etc. then they are not going to receive a good grade for the effort part. Since that makes up 50% of the grade, chances are they may get a failing grade on that project. It is fairly easy to tell if they are putting effort into their projects.

  • Jenncook678 08/21/2012 at 06:32pm
    I guess I just wish there were more obvious, or physical, evidence for me to feel confident about quantifying their effort.
    I alway take into consideration students' skill level and their reletive progress as a major component for effort, as well as the level of difficulty they've selected.
    This can sometimes lead to marks that seem confusing. Work that might look amazing to an outside observer, might get a lower than expected mark if its from a really talented student that didn't challenge or fully apply him/herself. Whereas work that might look "subpar" to an outside observer, might get an almost perfect mark if they chose the hardest option and their work ethic was outstanding. As I mentioned above, I wish I had more physical or obvious evidence.
    I do a really good job keeping track of their daily work habits (a mark for every day that is fully worked, half a mark for a half days work and so on). Nevertheless, I feel that the true picture of their effort is bigger than that. I'm fairly confident in using my professional discretion for the marks I give. I just wish I had more than a classmark chart to show a parent should they ever inquire.

  • RuthByrne 08/24/2012 at 07:00am
    I love that you keep a daily record. I'm trying to adopt that practice this year to avoid reflexive grading. I'm not sure what more you could do to gather data/evidence of their effort. I guess the first step is to define effort and then devise a way to measure the components of the definition.

    So, you have listed: daily work habits, relative progress to completion, relative progress of skill, Striving (challenging themselves? there is a better word for this somewhere). Seem like a great start.

    You already measure daily work habits. Check!

    Daily progress- check in charts for "steps completed" or "what step of the creative process am I on today". The students could even keep track of this one.

    Skill progress- line up portfolio items (I keep pics of every piece on my computer) and a list of skills you taught that year/marking period. Check for a skill in a sequence of projects and see if there is growth between them. +,=,- for each skill assessed and average the marks. This can give them a chance to struggle with a medium or skill, but excel in others and ace your class =)

    Striving- subjective! hmmm...It sounds like you have difficulty levels already set up. You could use a previous project to set a difficulty benchmark you think the student can achieve, and then see where they go in relation to it. +,=,- for what difficulty level they chose! I do not have difficulty levels, seems rubricy but valuable.

    Great discussion!! this really helped me clear up my brain as I design new assessments for this school year. thanks!

  • RuthByrne 08/24/2012 at 07:42am
    There is a better word...initiative!!

  • Taurine75 09/09/2012 at 01:31pm
    Given that I have too many students (250+) it's hard to grade everything and everyone. My students also come in with REALLY poor work habits. They get surprised when I fail them for never having any work to input. We have 80-minute periods so everything they do is based off of the efforts the put forth in class. I also don't "require" any homework but only A's are given to students who hand in extra credit. I have since designed (with Photoshop) an attendance sheet where I also input their daily work habits and infractions. Three days before report card grades are to be submitted I call up students one-by-one and quickly scan (but primarily count) the sheets/evidence of their efforts. I'm a strict grader. I only assign a Pass or Fail grade on their progress reports. If they miss one sheet they automatically get an "In Danger of Failing" mark on these progress reports. True grades (A's, B's, C's) are only given on major projects. Thus, the "quality" is assessed for grades that remain on their final records.

    Feel free to download my form (attendance_grades.pdf) here:

    This may sound harsh but it works for me in my current work setting. Also, my students advance a LOT by the end of the year!

  • MsLundstrum 02/04/2013 at 02:08pm
    For each major project, I create a rubric. Within the rubric, I always include a small section for "Artistic Growth" or "Time Management". This way studnets understand its importance alone, but they also may be able to find that these are connected (and influence) other score groups.

    I also use Class Dojo to record behavior. This is totaled into a percentage, translated to a score out of 10, and included in the Activity Section of their course grade.