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Holistic_Grading - Holistic Grading What is holistic...

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Holistic Grading What is holistic grading? Do not worry as it is not some kind of new age 12-step program. It is a well-established grading technique designed to assign more meaningful scores to student responses. Instead of a adopting a reductionist approach, by grading the students’ answer line by line, you read the response as a whole and evaluate the students’ overall level of understanding of the concepts and the problem-solving techniques. Although this method sounds vague, it yields very reliable results, when carried out properly. (In educational jargon ‘reliable’ means that different graders would agree upon the same score, making the score more meaningful.) What’s wrong with traditional grading? In traditional grading, you break up a problem into pieces, and assign a point value to each piece. For example, in a block-on-a ramp problem, students might lose two points for getting the normal force wrong, three points for decomposing the gravity vector incorrectly, and so on. About ninety percent of the time, this system yields a fair score. But unwanted results often pop up the other ten percent of the time. For instance, a student may receive only five or six points out of a possible ten, even when their presentations showed a clear understanding of the material. This may be due to a group of small errors they made that chipped away at their score. In contrast, a student may
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