Assessment and Grading

Although you may need to add some extra components to the course grade, in a SAIL class you can continue to assess students the same way that you always have, whether that is using exams, writing papers, or completing projects. However, you will want to make sure that you are emphasizing the same ideas and skills in your assessments as you are emphasizing during in-class activities. This will not only make the in-class activities seem more purposeful, it will also prevent the students from being blindsided.

You may also want to include a participation grade. Because participation is such an important part of active in-class learning, a small grade for attendance and/or active participation might help to ensure good involvement. However, it’s important to think ahead of time how you will grade students on participation and communicate this to them so that they know how they are being graded. You could just use the work they are doing in-class as the grade for participation. Giving students updates on their participation grade throughout the semester can be helpful feedback for them to know if they are meeting your expectations.

In addition, you don’t want to forget to carve out another small percentage of the grade for the quizzes/assignments that you use to ensure class preparation (see basics of the SAIL class). The purpose of these assignments are not to test mastery, so these should probably not be too difficult or worth too much of their final grade.

Finally, in a SAIL class you want to create an atmosphere where students work together and help each other learn the class material. Because of this, you will likely not want to grade on a curve, which will disincentivize them from cooperating with each other.

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