This is a follow-up post to "Is it REALLY possible to not grade homework?"
I teach a Statistics & Discrete Math course: 90% of the course mirrors a typical introductory statistics course in college - from descriptive statistics to inferential statistics including one and two sample hypothesis tests. For the first half of the course, I graded pretty traditionally - points for completing homework assignments, points for quizzes and projects and even more points for tests. I used weighted grades, because its a main idea in one of the units so it's a pretty practical way of relating with students. I digress.
For the second half of the course, I made the switch to standards-based grading. (Trying to put my money where my mouth is...) Points were awarded on tests using a 4-point scale and homework was no longer collected or graded. (The answers are always posted) I used periodic "checkpoints" which were basically 2 questions similar to the homework that I collected every two or three days as an ongoing feedback mechanism. I did not grade these, but instead wrote comments on the problems and handed them back to students. I didn't make this change cold turkey though - it went something like this. I wanted to remove the grading aspect of practice and emphasize the feedback. This system seemed to make sense, but I was anxious to hear what the students thought of it using the end-of-course evaluation.
Here are the responses from my students, "My thoughts on the daily homework assignments and how it was graded are..."
- I liked how the homework was graded. It gives more responsibility to the student.
- I really liked the method you used. It seemed like I did better in the class.
- good when you don't have to turn them in b/c then you don't have to keep doing problems you already know how to do
- I liked having the homework graded because if you didn't do good on a test youre grad wouldn't be effected as much
- I think I would rather have the homework graded because I would actually do it.
- good liked it when if you didn't do your homework it wasn't good so you learn a lot more
- I like the 2nd way of grading. It gives us more responsibility and makes us control our own grade.
- I love the new grading system! I still did my homework
- It was weird. But it helped to do the homework wheather it was worth 1 point or no points
- good. I liked how homework wasn't graded. I still did it thou because it would help you on the test. I think that should stay.
- I think daily homework assignments are good, because when we didn't have to do it, nobody ever did.
- I liked the way they were towards the end better.
- I like how we switched to optional homework cause it created less stress if I didn't finish it.
- I liked not having them graded! That way I still did my homework, but the pressure to have it done before class was off
- I thought the homework was good not to much just enough and grading was very fair
- I didn't do any
- Awesome. The homework wasn't too long, but you picked problems that really helped me understand what was going on.
- I wish homework was graded. Though I did my homework, I felt it would be nice to earn points for it as well. I felt it gave me a greater incentive to do my homework when it was graded.
For those of you who have stopped grading homework, what do your students think? For those of you still grading homework, what's stopping you?