Standards Based Grading Presentation

This year marks the third year of standards based grading (SBG) in the physics classes at my school. Each year, my colleague and I have modified and refined the particulars of our implementation of SBG and I’m optimistic about how the students will receive it this year. The introduction to SBG, that moment when you have to sell the class on this “different” way of doing things is always tough. I spent a good nine months reading, researching and preparing before jumping in, so I’m not surprised that it take students some time to warm up to the idea.

To help with the initial communication of what grades look like in our classes, we’ve moved from a lengthy two page document to a Prezi that guides students (or parents that want to watch it) through three central questions:

  1. What does a grade mean?
  2. How do you calculate grades?
  3. How do I improve my grade?

What’s in a Grade? (Sorry, WordPress won’t let me easily embed a Prezi. Click through and you can watch it.)

Take a look at it and if you have any feedback on the structure or flow of information I’d love to hear it. I’ve made it public, so you can copy and modify it as you wish. I should probably add attributions for the pics, but it’s late.



    1. Yeah. 80% for the daily course grade and 20% for exams. We’ve managed to push back against that in the past, but we decided to take steps this year to simplify the approach to SBG we’re using. Including this calculation is one of those steps.

  1. It looks pretty good. I was always surprised by how little the students seemed interested in grades at the beginning of the year – in my classes, it was only when we actually started communicating with grades that they were interested in knowing what I meant.

    How does this prezi fit in with the school-wide communication about grades?

  2. I really like the prezi. I hope that the students appreciate all your work and that you are rewarded with happy, well-informed, organized students.

  3. This is only my second year of SBG, but I have also been surprised at how little the students really questioned it and their lack of concern about what I consider a pretty radical departure from the norm in grading. Of course, I mostly teach freshmen, so maybe they’re chalking it up to the difference between high school and middle school. At any rate, people are buying in so I guess I won’t complain….

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