Feb 13, 2023Liked by David Clark

When reading about "lazy graders," I immediately thought about how much I dislike the use of online homework paired with auto-grading software (e.g. ALEKS). And I congratulated myself for not being one of "those teachers."

Then I read your last paragraph about not being quick to jump to conclusions.

So now I'm wondering if there is a place for auto-grading software. It certainly does provide quick feedback. The big drawbacks I see are how it can encourage mimicking procedures (as opposed to learning), and how classes can slip into using the software as the only form of feedback.

Do you know of any instructors in the alternative grading community that use auto-grading software? Do you have any principles regarding its use?

Thanks for the great post!

Expand full comment
Feb 13, 2023·edited Feb 13, 2023Liked by David Clark

This comment is not from a myth believer as I am using semi-mastery-grading this semester. I want to have a healthy discussion in a polarized world.

"Although in this context, the same problem arises in traditional grading, when instructors give a cumulative final exam or offer a "practice test" as part of a review day."

Practice tests do not need to have the same problems as those given in the exam. Cumulative final exams should not either.

Final exams have questions that mostly synergize various topics, and there is a high interleaving need on the part of students as the question is not identified as a particular standard.

SBG misses the component of a student having to identify which topic the question belongs to, especially when final exams or cumulative projects are not given.

Regarding the issue with giving the same problems, it is an issue if say, just limits of integration are changed for an integral. Some SBG advocates let the question be taken home if they still fail.

There is an equity issue as well - who can take it more times and afford to meet out of class - the person taking a light load of courses and not working outside of school.

SBG success depends on some guardrails and flexibility like anything else in life! As an example, many of us have witnessed how the flipped learning purity has changed over the years. Most include some minilectures, acknowledge that some topics need more addressing than others by the instructor, and that flipped learning resources can be made available for non-flipped sections of the class to witness the narrowing of the gap between the cognitive performance of students.

Expand full comment