Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Struggle is Real

I asked my students yesterday if they get stressed out about grades and the resounding response was "yes". I knew this, but it's good to hear it from others as well.
As I stated during BTSN, I want the focus to be on learning and achievement (which looks different for every student), and NOT on grades.

Remember, it's about the learning, not the grade.

With that said, the Canvas grade book has sucked up more than three hours of my life from 3pm yesterday and 8:30am today. Not cool, Canvas. Not cool!

I want the assignments, when they are worthy of a letter grade, to receive a letter grade. The thing is, I'm bound by the constrictions some other developer - that is most likely NOT an educator - created. Frustrating to say the least.

What I have realized is that in order for my students to have a "grade" in the class, the assignments have to be worth some number of points. If I make the assignments worth "zero" points and put a letter grade in for their work, the total in the grade book doesn't exist. The program has no points to average, so it doesn't do anything with the letter grade.
If I make the assignment worth some number of points it does some other weird default stuff that I don't like, and that's what has consumed my time. What's the workaround? I have no idea, but I've found a workaround for the time being.
I think.

I don't know if it will work, but I think it will be ok for now. We'll see.

What I loathe is that it still very prominently displays a percentage for the student to see. The is NOT what I want. At all. I want the focus to be on the learning and not on the grade - but I think I've already said that many times.
I know that the students will still focus on the percentage instead of anything else every time they go in the grade book, so what do I do? I don't know.

I guess for now I have to be ok with an "I don't know". Which doesn't feel good.

Please remind them, and yourself, that the real assessment comes in the feedback for the assignment. There is a running commentary for each assignment, and often for assignments that aren't "graded" - when applicable. Please please please make sure to read the comments.

I know for the projects that are officially at the beginning of assessment, there are a lot of comments. I am even asking some of the students to come in and make some corrections so their work will be better. I am happy to reassess. There are steps for them to follow, but they are pretty easy. I have spoken with them about how to do this and I will continue to remind them as necessary.

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