How to Make Sure Grades Are Meaningful and Useful to Students

There are many ways for making sure grades are meaningful and useful to students. Here are 10 strategies:

  1. Make grading fair and consistent. Grades should be based on the student’s performance, not on who the student is.
  2. Make grades meaningful. Grades should reflect the student’s performance in the course
  3. Use grading scales that are meaningful to students. For example, use a 100-point scale instead of a traditional 4-point scale.
  4. Give feedback on a timely basis. Feedback should be given after the student has completed the task, not before.
  5. Use rubrics to determine which students have achieved success in a course.
  6. Encourage students to take honors and AP courses. These courses are more challenging, therefore are more likely to provide students with meaningful and useful grades.
  7. Make use of portfolios to assess student progress.
  8. Have students sign a Grade-Point-Averages (GPA) contract. This contract should clearly state the expectations of both the student and the teacher.
  9. Make use of formative assessment to help teachers determine which students are struggling and need extra help.
  10. Celebrate the student’s successes. Acknowledge their achievements in class, on homework assignments, and in their portfolios.
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