The learning opportunities on this website are organized into four learning shifts that can help educators better understand how instruction and grading can be more aligned with student learning. It is important to progress through the shifts in order because having a strong foundation in the alignment between grades and instruction is critical to effective implementation of new grading practices.
Shift A: Recognize the Beliefs and Traditions of Grading
The first step in change is recognizing the need for change. This shift will promote reflection upon the origins of your own grading practices and the traditional roots of many of our current grading practices. Conversations about grading can be deeply personal because we experienced grades as students and were generally successful in traditional grading systems. Now we, as educators, are creating the learning environment for our students. Where and when did you learn how to determine final grades?
Shift B: Adopt a Mindset of Grading for Learning
In this shift, you will be provided with learning opportunities about how more recent research can inform our approaches to grading. You will learn about key findings about the development of experts and fixed and growth mindsets. How we grade students is ultimately a reflection on how we believe we learn. Do you believe that, given the right support, you can learn any skill?
Shift C: Connect Grading to the Learning Cycle
When you change the way you grade, you will also need to change the way you assess, the way you teach, and the way you plan. Understanding these connections is critical as participants begin to incorporate these shifts into their practices. How will instruction change to align with Mastery Grading?
Shift D: Learn Strategies for Mastery Grading
This shift provides examples of practical strategies for Mastery Grading. This is the last shift, rather than the first shift, because the sustained implementation of Mastery Learning and Grading requires that educators understand the “why” of this approach. The power of this approach lies in the empowerment of students in leading their own learning. Do grading practices accurately measure and support student learning?