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E for Effort

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rob
144651.  Fri Feb 09, 2007 7:08 am Reply with quote

My school teachers always reminded me on my school work and in my school reports that 'E was for effort'

 
Sand
144695.  Fri Feb 09, 2007 9:13 am Reply with quote

More likely Egregious :p Or how about...

Error
Explicable (in certain cases)
Exemplory (in my brother's case)
'Elp! I almost got an F

 
samivel
145057.  Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:47 am Reply with quote

Eejit?

 
violetriga
145059.  Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:55 am Reply with quote

We can't give out grades from A to E lest it confuse the students into thinking they are actual GCSE grades. We have to go by the agreed assessment policy - traffic lights for attainment and numbers for effort.

 
smiley_face
145095.  Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:15 am Reply with quote

violetriga wrote:
We can't give out grades from A to E lest it confuse the students into thinking they are actual GCSE grades. We have to go by the agreed assessment policy - traffic lights for attainment and numbers for effort.

That's just bloody ridiculous. This whole New-Labour-Dumbing-Down crap really pisses me off. How are pupils supposed to know if they're working hard enough to get the grades they want if they are only told that they are red, amber or green?

Why do people think that kids are so stupid? I'm 16, so not much older than these pupils who are allegedly not able to distinguish between an A on a piece of work and an A in a GCSE. I just find it incredibly patronising the way (in general, not just in schools) people assume that teenagers are a) stupid and b) vindictive. Perhaps a number of people of my age are these two things, but in my experience, they are very much in the minority.

Young people today aren't any more stupid now than they were 40 years ago. The genetics can't have changed that much in one or two generations. Perhaps the blame for juvenile delinquency these days can be placed on the older generations who have brought us up and influenced us. I also very much doubt that the "chavs in hoodies" culture is a new concept. Maybe a couple of decades ago it was a group of people with another name, but gangs still existed, as did guns and knives.

[/rant]

Sorry, I did go a *bit* off topic there, but I just had to get it off my chest.

 
suze
145113.  Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:59 am Reply with quote

I'd have to agree with most of that, Fi.

Young people are of course no more stupid than they were a couple generations ago - indeed, the genetics would suggest that they ought to be (ever so slightly) more intelligent. (The apparent suppression of the Flynn Effect in modern Britain notwithstanding.)

And of course Britain had an equivalent to "chavs in hoodies" in days gone by. When my husband was a kid, they wore DMs and British Movement jackets (I'm assured that British readers over 35 will know what the latter was).

I'd agree that it seems odd that assessed work which forms part of the course leading to GCSE should be graded in a different way to the GCSE itself. I mark all work submitted to me as though I were marking an exam question - and present the mark in the same way too. That traffic lights system is meaningless, since the green light could mean anything from "competent, gets a C, no doubt either way on that fact" to "utterly outstanding, at the top end of A*". Those whose marks tend to the latter really need to know that, and the system outlined above doesn't help them.

As for effort grades, they are fine in primary school and the first couple years of secondary school. But after that, a pupil's education is targeted towards the GCSE exams - in which grades are achieved for getting the answers right, not for effort. Shame as it may be, Student A who really can't do Mathematics but tries hard in class won't get a top grade for the subject; Student B who finds the subject easy and does little work in class will. Effort grades at this stage seem to me to achieve nothing positive - they run the risk of inflating A's expectations and of alienating B.

 
Lucwhostalking
145117.  Sat Feb 10, 2007 9:10 am Reply with quote

I've never even heard of this traffic lights system and we had effort grades from years 7 to 9 along with content grades. However now all my work is marked in GCSE grades.

 
violetriga
145122.  Sat Feb 10, 2007 9:17 am Reply with quote

I'll explain the assessment policy...

Green is awarded to those who have shown evidence of understanding the topic, with Green+ given to those that have gone beyond what was taught. Yellow (not amber to avoid confusion with 'A') shows incomplete evidence/understanding. Red means they have not understood key concepts, while Red- means that the work is not acceptable at all.

In fairness to the system it works well as it indicates their understanding rather than the overall quality of the work and coupled with the effort grade it gives a good assessment of the work.

suze wrote:
As for effort grades, they are fine in primary school and the first couple years of secondary school. But after that, a pupil's education is targeted towards the GCSE exams - in which grades are achieved for getting the answers right, not for effort. Shame as it may be, Student A who really can't do Mathematics but tries hard in class won't get a top grade for the subject; Student B who finds the subject easy and does little work in class will. Effort grades at this stage seem to me to achieve nothing positive - they run the risk of inflating A's expectations and of alienating B.


I agree that it becomes less effective for the older (Y10+) years.

 
suze
145126.  Sat Feb 10, 2007 9:25 am Reply with quote

violetriga wrote:
Green is awarded to those who have shown evidence of understanding the topic, with Green+ given to those that have gone beyond what was taught. Yellow (not amber to avoid confusion with 'A') shows incomplete evidence/understanding. Red means they have not understood key concepts, while Red- means that the work is not acceptable at all.


Thanks v/r. One doesn't therefore have to be a genius to equate the five grade framework Green+:Green:Yellow:Red:Red- to another possible five grade framework which goes A:B:C:D:E.

For sure there are eight GCSE grades not five, but come on! I'm sure you think in grades when marking and then convert that to a color - I know I would if that was the way I was required to mark. Do students really think "Ooh, I got a B for my homework last week. That's my GCSE finished then, I've got a B. Hooray!"?

 
violetriga
145134.  Sat Feb 10, 2007 9:34 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
violetriga wrote:
Green is awarded to those who have shown evidence of understanding the topic, with Green+ given to those that have gone beyond what was taught. Yellow (not amber to avoid confusion with 'A') shows incomplete evidence/understanding. Red means they have not understood key concepts, while Red- means that the work is not acceptable at all.


Thanks v/r. One doesn't therefore have to be a genius to equate the five grade framework Green+:Green:Yellow:Red:Red- to another possible five grade framework which goes A:B:C:D:E.


It roughly equates to A:B:C/D:E:U, I would say - anyone getting lots of Red- is unlikely to perform well at GCSE. The idea is that a clear assessment policy means that marking will be more uniform throughout the school.

suze wrote:
For sure there are eight GCSE grades not five, but come on! I'm sure you think in grades when marking and then convert that to a color - I know I would if that was the way I was required to mark. Do students really think "Ooh, I got a B for my homework last week. That's my GCSE finished then, I've got a B. Hooray!"?


I wouldn't think it's common, but there have been the occasional complaints from parents saying similar things. The problem the school wants to avoid is that the requirements for getting a certain grade for a piece of homework may differ from what you need to do to get that grade for real in the GCSE - by giving a piece of homework a B using a more relaxed marking scheme may make the kids think that they are on target for a B given that level of effort/quality/...

 
suze
145137.  Sat Feb 10, 2007 9:43 am Reply with quote

violetriga wrote:
The problem the school wants to avoid is that the requirements for getting a certain grade for a piece of homework may differ from what you need to do to get that grade for real in the GCSE.


Now this bit I entirely agree with - in my opinion all work in a course leading to GCSE should be marked as though it were a GCSE. What you actually call the grades is unimportant - but in the absence of a compelling reason to call them something different from what the GCSE grades are called, why do so?

I accept one possible argument against that. A pupil who has just embarked on a GCSE course Year 10 is unlikely to get a very good grade for his first couple of pieces of work (especially in the case of a subject not studied at an earlier stage, say Economics).

That is precisely what did happen in my education, and in my husband's (since he went to school in England and I didn't, his experience is more relevant here). So long as it's explained to the pupils that this is the way the marking works and a D grade at this point is not a disaster, I really can't see a problem with it.

 
violetriga
145139.  Sat Feb 10, 2007 9:50 am Reply with quote

Indeed. I think the idea is to try and give out good "grades" to students that have made a good start to their studies. The problem there is that they might assume they are doing well and thus not try as hard as someone given a D might.

The best option, and the one I tend to use, is a middle ground whereby the students are given the assessment policy grades as well as shown an indication of their current attainment according to the GCSE mark scheme.

 
smiley_face
145145.  Sat Feb 10, 2007 9:54 am Reply with quote

At the start of our GCSE course, we'd be marked on what we would get in our final exams if we continued to progress at that pace. So a piece of work at the beginning of Y10 which would actually get a C at GCSE, would be marked an A.

The A Level marking at our school is different. Our work is graded on what it would get if it were the final exam (AS for work done in year 12, A2 in year 13). Thus I spent the first few weeks of year 12 getting mainly Cs, but got As at the end. Similarly, at the beginning of this year (Year 13) my grades dropped down to Bs and some Cs, though I am predicted As.

I find the latter system far better, as I find it gives me some motivation to work hard and improve my grades. If I was given A grades for work which was actually a B at A level, they I reckon I'd be far more likely to get complacent.

 
Jenny
145371.  Sat Feb 10, 2007 10:25 pm Reply with quote

When I used to teach English GCSE to adult education classes (last taught about ten years ago now, mind) many of the younger students who had just obtained a poorish GCSE grade and were retaking outside the school environment did, actually, come in with statements like 'I can't understand why I got an E - I kept getting Bs and Cs on my work'. When they brought said work in, it had often not been marked with attention to technical accuracy, which did the student no favours at all in that the lack of accuracy was impeding communication.

My tactic (which I laid out to student at the beginning of the year in September) was not to write grades on their work at all, but to mark every technical inaccuracy and to write very detailed comments on each piece of work. I found if I graded the work, they would ignore the comments, and I regarded the comments as an essential part of the teaching. This is, of course, a much more realistic procedure for somebody teaching three adult ed classes a week with 12-18 students in a class rather than somebody teaching a full timetable in a school.

I usually managed to hold out on grading, using the time to increase their confidence and self-esteem in their work, until such time as we had to start putting coursework folders together, by which time they were actually producing work that was worth marking as if it were for the exam.

 
grizzly
145436.  Sun Feb 11, 2007 5:50 am Reply with quote

smiley_face wrote:
At the start of our GCSE course, we'd be marked on what we would get in our final exams if we continued to progress at that pace. So a piece of work at the beginning of Y10 which would actually get a C at GCSE, would be marked an A.

The A Level marking at our school is different. Our work is graded on what it would get if it were the final exam (AS for work done in year 12, A2 in year 13). Thus I spent the first few weeks of year 12 getting mainly Cs, but got As at the end. Similarly, at the beginning of this year (Year 13) my grades dropped down to Bs and some Cs, though I am predicted As.

I find the latter system far better, as I find it gives me some motivation to work hard and improve my grades. If I was given A grades for work which was actually a B at A level, they I reckon I'd be far more likely to get complacent.


I've got to agree with Fi there. The latter system is certainly more valuable, especially at A Level where all students are capable of understanding that grades are given on the basis of exam marking.

However, the marking scheme at GCSE that Fi experienced I think is worse than the one that vr uses. I would much rather have a mark scheme that mixes actual grades with an effort mark. This ensures the both of best schemes. From that a student can learn where their work can improve but they will understand if they are (and more importantly if they are not) making the effort necessary for their work to continue improving.

Under the mark scheme that Fi experienced, I think it would be more difficult for students to understand how they need to improve.

 

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