Thursday, January 21, 2010

What if I used the Median to Calculate the Grade?

I have read a couple of posts on different blogs lately about grading, standards-based grading, and assessment. In particular, Why I Hate Grades, Mathematically Speaking at yofx and Another Standards-Based Grading Question at A Math Teacher's Notebook. Thinking about a system like Dan Meyer's found in his How Math Must Assess, turning student mastery records into end-of-quarter grades using the mean as a measure of central tendency seems difficult. After reading Success for All: The Median is the Key, is the median a viable option?

1 comment:

  1. There's a question in Key Curriculum Press's "Discovering Algebra" that asks about using the median vs. the mean, and most students come to the conclusion that the median is a better measure of center. So we tried it for homework grades, calculating the median score each week. Unfortunately, some students quickly figured out that if they scored well on their homework the first three days of the week, they could do zero homework the last two days and still have, potentially, 100% for the week. I liked the idea, but it didn't work well when used this way.