Grading Systems

We’ve had quite a debate going on around Zulama lately concerning our platform’s grading system. We implemented a traditional letter grading system in the first iteration of the platform, always knowing we wanted to explore other options.

The point of education is not to fail students, it’s to motivate them to learn. We’re finding the traditional grading system to be non-motivational. Sure, it gives students an idea of how well they are performing compared to the ideal of 100% achievement on each assignment. But once students receive a grade, they have no chance or motivation to revisit their work and earn a higher grade. So even if they have not mastered the content, they move on.

We’ve been studying different approaches to grading, and are currently favoring an XP (eXperience Points) system. It’s a system that students immediately recognize and relate to. When they play games, the XP system is motivational—players earn XP when they are successful. Games generally have a set of rules, have clear goals, and a reward system based on achievement.

We’ve done extensive online research (Lee Sheldon’s system is the reference we come across most often), but would like to hear from someone who has tried this in their setting. Anyone willing/able to share their experience implementing an XP grading system? Thanks in advance!

ISTE Keynote Address

Denver, CO, June 27, 2010

Part I: Helen Padgett,  ISTE President

ISTE Learning is a new teachers’ learning community, professional development workspace, and marketplace on the ISTE website. will be relaunching in September 2010, and the new website will include more ways to engage with members and educators.

International distribution of ISTE print products has been expanded over the last year, and more titles are available in languages other than English as well as in e-reader formats.

ISTE will be placing special emphasis on the Young Educator Network, for educators in their 20s and 30s. These “rising stars” exemplify ISTE’s mission—they are already making an impact on the field and they serve as role models for educators of all ages. Continue reading