One Teachers Journey Testing Out Ken O’Connor’s A Repair Kit for Grading: 15 Fixes for Broken Grades — Fix 2

This is going to list the individual blog entry

Fix 2: Don’t reduce marks on “work” submitted late; provide support for the learner.  I have never taken marks off for a student submitting work late. In reality, possibly due to the school I teach in, it is rare that I actually get work on time! ¾ of my students struggle with assignment completion, but ⅞ of them get work in on a reasonable timeframe.  Only the small fraction, the 1/8 , really battle with longer term incompletes in my classes. Bell curve.

I make it very clear to my students that I will not take marks off.  I don’t know of any teachers who do this.  Some of my least punctual students have the best ideas to put forth; they are worth the wait.  However the lazy and apathetic students could benefit from some consequences to tighten it up more. They, ironically, are the ones least driven by marks in the first place, however, so may not even realize or care that they are cutting off their own foot.  Consider this fix implemented, with the caveat that my few frequently unreliable students that suffer from incompletes may be on the horizon for future posts as I continue to read this book and reflect…


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3 responses to “One Teachers Journey Testing Out Ken O’Connor’s A Repair Kit for Grading: 15 Fixes for Broken Grades — Fix 2”

  1. Heidi Van Vliet says:

    I don’t take off marks for work submitted late for junior science classes. However, I do have “soft” and “hard” deadlines. After some time a “hard” deadline is good so that some students don’t get overwhelmed with the work they have missed, and they need to get on with more current work.
    With my senior Chemistry classes I went back to insisting on handing work in on time and I do not accept lates (although I might make a few back room deals in different circumstances). For these classes, most students are keen to do well, and by allowing them to hand in work late it brought DOWN average test scores and overall performance.

    • morganwhitehouse12 says:

      Thanks for your input Heidi! I’m happy to have some varied perspectives in this complex dialogue.

    • favyee says:

      What a great anecdote @Morgan10527475. At your former school here in the Lower Mainland, I don’t believe there are many teachers left, if any, who take marks off for late assignments. The point being is that assessment is for the sole purpose of professionally judging and reporting out as to where students performance or understanding are at in a particular skill or in the prescribed curriculum. Somewhere along the way, the currency of school became the marks students earn. And like currency, if students are delinquent in completing their assignments, teachers would dock marks, as if it were a late charge. This practice does not in any way reflect on the performance or understanding of the subject matter.

      I recall early in my career (over 22 years ago), I was mentored by one of my favourite teachers. If students were absent for test for any reason, they had to write it at a later date. Whatever they achieved on the exam, they were docked a certain percentage of that achievement because they had an “unfair advantage” in writing after the rest of the class did. I believed in this during my formative years. Part of it was because I had gone through a schooling system which docked marks, and another part of it actually made sense to me (looking at it from the “currency” perspective). Fortunately, a vice-principal whom I started my career with, schooled me in the philosophies around assessment.

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