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Lesson 1: Nature & Function of Grades/Marks Nature of Grades/Marks Grades are the teachers judgment on the performance of students

based on certain criteria. Aside from grading students performance, teachers have to inform the students and parents of the students academic progress in the various learning areas in the curriculum. Although objective, grades can be subjective from time to time and are also relative from one school to another school, from one teacher to another teacher, and from one school to another student. Several variables, such as periodical examinations, class standing, and are considered in grading the students. Functions of Grades/ Marks Whether grades could encourage students to learn has been argued for a while. There are a variety of arguments among students and teachers. It is an important topic because it concerns with the method how we educate effectively our students. From my experience, I agree with the idea that grades encourage students to learn. It has been argued that marks could make some students stressful, especially for the students with poor grades. However, as research on the education indicated that grades could let students clearly understand their performance and let them know their advantage and disadvantage. For example, without grades, how could students know what talent they really have? Grades is the indicator of students' ability to master the knowledge. Moreover, the teacher can clearly master the status of each student study through grades. Every one had talent, but no one had all the talent. By grades, the teacher can understand each student's talent. For instance, some students may be good at logic thinking, such as mathematics, physics; the others may like athletic, such as baseball, tennis. By grades, the teacher can give different advice to different student. Furthermore, only through grades can parents understand how their child's performance in the study. For example, when I had a poor performance in some courses, my parents always helped me figure out the reason and help me go through it. Each time I went through this difficulty, I had more confidence on my study. In conclusion, grades can encourage students to learn. It can help students realize their talents and find out their disadvantages. Without grades, how could a student clearly understand themselves? The school can never escape relative judgments about students. Grades or marks have certain to perform and these functions are served best by an unbiased grade. Such functions are as follow: 1. To help guide the students and the parents with respect to future educational plans and provide a basis for college. 2. To help higher educational levels appraise an applicants acceptability for the program being offered; and

3. To help a potential employer decide on the suitability of the student for certain jobs that depend on academic skills. Grades or marks are necessary for guiding the student in his/her school work, understanding his/her personal trials and tribulations, helping him/her plan his/her educational and occupational future, and cooperating with future school officials and employers in selecting who may most suitably be instructed or employed. Grades at best, the raw materials for formulating educational and vocational plans.

Reference: Arnulfo Aaron R. Reganit, Ed. D, Ronaldo SP. Elicay, Ph.D., Cresencia C. Languerta MS., 2010, Assessment of Student Learning 1 (Cognitive Learning), C and E Publishing Corp. CArlito D. Garcia, Ed.D, 2008, Measuring and Evaluating Learning Outcomes: A Textbook in Assessment Learning 1 and 2, Books Atbp. Publishing Corp. 436 Legva St., Mandaluyong City Lesson 2: Purpose and Types of Grades/Marks Purposes of Grades/Marks Measurement experts such as Peter Airasian (1994) explain that educators use grades primarily (1) for administrative purposes, (2) to give students feedback about their progress and achievement, (3) to provide guidance to students about future course work, (4) to provide guidance to teachers for instructional planning, and (5) to motivate students. Administrative Purposes For at least several decades, grades have served a variety of administrative functions (Wrinkle, 1947), most dealing with district-level decisions about students, including

Student matriculation and retention. Placement when students transfer from one school to another. Student entrance into college.

Airasian (1994) further explains that "administratively, schools need grades to determine such things as a pupil's rank in class, credits for graduation, and suitability for promotion to the next level" (p. 283). Research indicates that some districts explicitly make note of the administrative function of grades. For example, in a study of school board manuals, district guidelines, and handbooks for teaching, researchers Susan Austin and Richard McCann (1992) found the explicit mention of administration as a basic purpose for grades in 7 percent of school board documents, 10 percent of district guidelines, and 4 percent of handbooks

for teachers. Finally, in a survey conducted by The College Board (1998), over 81 percent of the schools reported using grades for administrative purposes. Feedback about Student Achievement One of the more obvious purposes for grades is to provide feedback about student achievement. Studies have consistently shown support for this purpose. For example, in 1976, Simon and Bellanca reported that both educators and no educators perceived providing information about student achievement as the primary purpose of grading. In a 1989 study of high school teachers, Stiggins, Frisbie, and Griswold reported that this grading functionwhich they refer to as the information functionwas highly valued by teachers. Finally, the study by Austin and McCann (1992) found that 25 percent of school board documents, 45 percent of district documents, and 65 percent of teacher documents mentioned reporting student achievement as a basic purpose of grades. Guidance When used for guidance purposes, grades help counselors provide direction for students (Wrinkle, 1947; Terwilliger, 1971). Specifically, counselors use grades to recommend to individual students courses they should or should not take and schools and occupations they might consider (Airasian, 1994). Austin and McCann (1992) found that 82 percent of school board documents, 40 percent of district documents, and 38 percent of teacher documents identified guidance as an important purpose of grades. Instructional Planning Teachers also use grades to make initial decisions about student strengths and weaknesses in order to group them for instruction. Grading as a tool for instructional planning is not commonly mentioned by measurement experts. However, the Austin and McCann (1992) study reported that 44 percent of school board documents, 20 percent of district documents, and 10 percent of teacher documents emphasized this purpose. Motivation Those who advocate using grades to motivate students assume that they encourage students to try harder both from negative and positive perspectives. On the negative side, receiving a low grade is believed to motivate students to try harder. On the positive side, it is assumed that receiving a high grade will motivate students to continue or renew their efforts. As discussed later in this chapter, some educators object strongly to using grades as motivators. Rightly or wrongly, however, this purpose is manifested in some U.S. schools. For example, Austin and McCann (1992) found that 7 percent of school board documents, 15 percent of district-level documents, and 10 percent of teacher documents emphasized motivation as a purpose for grades.

Grades may serve the following purpose: 1. Administration- admission, selection or grouping, promotion, retention, dismissal, fit for graduation. 2. Guidance- diagnostic-readiness, prediction of success, remediation, validation, careerguidance, psychological assessment 3. Motivation- skill mastery, goal-setting, positive mobilize Generally, the major purposes of grading and reporting are as follows: 1. To communicate the achievement status of the students to their parents and other stakeholders; 2. To provide information that can be used by the students for self-evaluation; 3. To select, identify, or group students for certain educational programs; 4. To provide incentives for students to learn; 5. To evaluate the effectiveness of instructional programs; and 6. To provide evidence of the students lack of effort or inappropriate responsibility. Types of Grades/ Marks 1. Percentage System (75-100). It is often used as it easily and universally understood. It implies precision of judgment that hardly attainable by most measuring instruments. 2. Pass or Fail. This is good for survey subjects or vocational courses and higher level courses in exact discipline like math and physics. The most common justification for the P-F system is that it encourages students to take the courses they would otherwise not take because of a fear of lowering their grade point average (GPA) or general average. This system also reduces student anxiety, gives students greater control over the allocation of their study time, and shifts the students efforts from grade-getting to learning. 3. Five Point Multiple Scale. This enables one to categorize students. Examples of this grading type are A, B+, B, C+, C or 1, 1.25, 1.5, 1.75, 2.0, etc. 4. Dual System. (Any combination of the previous three types of grades/marks). It may be a letter grade or percentage system for academic subjects and P-F for non-academic and vocational courses. 5. Checklist and Rating Scales. These rating scales or checklists should include the major cognitive (Psychomotor)for each subject matter area. Checklists or rating scales on effective objectives should also be developed. This type of grading is appropriate for early elementary grades.

Reference: Arnulfo Aaron R. Reganit, Ed. D, Ronaldo SP. Elicay, Ph.D., Cresencia C. Languerta MS., 2010, Assessment of Student Learning 1 (Cognitive Learning), C and E Publishing Corp. CArlito D. Garcia, Ed.D, 2008, Measuring and Evaluating Learning Outcomes: A Textbook in Assessment Learning 1 and 2, Books Atbp. Publishing Corp. 436 Legva St., Mandaluyong City

Lesson 3: Advantages/Disadvantages of Grades/Marks

There has been a great deal of controversy about the value of grades and much of it has been negative. Yet grades perform several valuable functions. They provide the student with a sense of how good his general performance has been and can help him decide whether or not to continue in certain subject areas or, in the larger context, whether to continue with his education. Where grading is required, the instructor is under some pressure to develop reasonable criteria, and the reporting requirement restrains the instructor from making evaluations that merely reflect his ideological or punitive inclinations - he could be called upon to justify his grades. Since grades are important, the student is forced to take the evaluation of his work seriously. In this respect grades can be motivators to achievement. Some of the criticism of grades is unwarranted: i.e., that they rely on extrinsic rewards, that they do not predict later success, that they foster competitive attitudes, and that low grades discourage students from further study in the subject. The excessive anxiety that grades may arouse can be countered by limitations on the uses made of the grade record. The issue over whether grades are valid measures of academic performance can be dealt with by giving faculty members training in making educational evaluations. (AF)learn-1556 Job Availability

While grades alone won't decide whether you and a certain job, they're an important consideration for employers. Achieving high marks while earning your degree shows dedication and hard work -- invaluable traits for anyone seeking a well-paying occupation. If you and another applicant have comparable experience, the tiebreaker could be your college grades. While extracurricular activities and other considerations are important, grades can ultimately decide your employment fate. Graduate School

Excellent academic achievement in college is required to get into most graduate degree programs -- even if you don't aim for a top-tier institution like Harvard or Yale. Grades are not the only factors in admissions decisions; extracurricular involvement, internships, test scores and interviews also affect whether you'll be accepted. Without good grades, though, gaining entrance into the graduate program becomes much more difficult. Organizational Skills

To earn good grades, you will probably have to log countless hours of studying, reading, essay writing and other tedious tasks. Doing so might not be the most fun at the time, but the process provides several useful skills, including time management, group leadership and other organizational skills. Establishing and participating in study groups, for example, improves your organizational skills and provides social interaction. Writing a paper over time teaches you to balance several tasks within a limited amount of time. Personal Development

Doing well in school can provide mental and personal benefits in addition to potential workforce and educational advantages. Achieving in college can be a highly rewarding experience, and those who get good grades can gain an increased sense of confidence from completing a task as challenging as earning a degree. This experience stands out in interviews, on your resume in the form of grades and during your everyday life. Some of the advantages of marks are as follows: 1. Marks are the least time consuming and most efficient method of reporting. 2. Symbols can be converted to numbers. Thus, general average grades can be computed. General average grades are useful in many types of selection, placement, and classification. They are the best predictors of success in future education. 3. Marks relate not only to chances of obtaining good grades in the future courses; they also relate somewhat to achievements beyond school. 4. Marks serve as an overall summary index. Students want and need to know how did on each separate how they did on separate subjects, as well as how they performed on the whole. Disadvantages of Grades/Marks 1. Marks are inaccurate measure of competence and are not used in a comparable way from school to school, or even from instructor. For one teacher, Be may just be an average grade, while for another, B may already be above average. 2. Marks are not related to the important objective of the school. 3. Marks are not enough as means of communication to the students homes. 4. Marks produce side effects detrimental to the welfare of the child. The side effects usually are: a. the debilitating impact of failure; b. excessive competitiveness; c. cheating; and d. a distortion of educational values, which marks, instead of learning, the important criterion of success. Reference: Arnulfo Aaron R. Reganit, Ed. D, Ronaldo SP. Elicay, Ph.D., Cresencia C. Languerta MS., 2010, Assessment of Student Learning 1 (Cognitive Learning), C and E Publishing Corp. CArlito D. Garcia, Ed.D, 2008, Measuring and Evaluating Learning Outcomes: A Textbook in Assessment Learning 1 and 2, Books Atbp. Publishing Corp. 436 Legva St., Mandaluyong City