Specifications Grading, Learning Outcomes, Student Reflections
Beverly W. Dabney, University of Michigan Flint
Specifications grading aligns assessments with outcomes, ditches partial credit, promotes revision, and fosters learning-focused commitment. Clear “specifications” enhance student accountability for meaningful learning experiences.
Implementing specifications grading in an undergraduate nursing research course proved effective in aligning assessments with learning outcomes. This method abandons partial credit but encourages students to revise and resubmit work that does not initially meet the “specifications”. Final grades are tied to mastering outcomes, eliminating traditional points or percentages. Student reflections reveal a shift towards valuing the learning over a focus on assignment grades, fostering a stronger commitment to academic success. Clear instructions and assignment specifications further enhance students’ accountability for their grades, offering a promising approach for meaningful learning experiences and accurate measurement of learning outcomes.
Analyze the effectiveness of implementing specifications grading in an undergraduate course for aligning assessments with learning outcomes.
Differentiate between traditional grading methods and specifications grading, understanding the benefits of abandoning partial credit and encouraging student revisions.
Assess students' perceptions of specifications grading and its impact on their learning in the course.
Hear it from the author:
Welcome to my poster display titled "Fostering Academic Engagement and Meaningful Assessment with Specifications Grading." Specifications grading aligns assessments with outcomes, eliminates partial credit, encourages revision, and nurtures a learning-focused commitment. I implemented this student assessment method in an undergraduate nursing research course. Unlike traditional grading, specifications grading ties final grades to mastering outcomes, moving away from traditional points or percentages. Students reported a shift in focus from mere assignment grades to valuing the learning process, leading to a stronger commitment to academic success. The poster highlights the increase in assignments transparently aligned to student outcomes, the results of student reflections on specifications grading, and provides an overview of the differences between traditional grading and specifications grading. I invite you to explore the poster further to understand the transformative potential of specifications grading.
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