Most students raised in the public schooling system learn to see themselves in their grades from a young age. Classrooms are separated based on performance. Comparatively interested students are selectively groomed by teachers and classmates, gradually pushing others to the bottom. This culture of honing in on grades damages students’ mental well-being and continues through college.
It is essential to understand that you can achieve grades without knowledge and gain knowledge without good grades. The effort you are putting in getting a good grade will eventually get you good grades if you put the same effort into gaining knowledge.
How to Prioritize Learning
Hiring any Dissertation Help service to complete your dissertation on time will get you good grades, but to have in-depth knowledge about a dissertation, you must learn it by heart. Some of the best ways to prioritize learning in the classroom are –
- Classroom Activities
- Drafts, redos, and “evolving assignments.”
- Learning reflections and mindfulness
- Shifting language and focus from task completion (“do this”) to learning goal, outcome, or growth (“this is what you’ll know)
Although the classroom outside environment is also responsible for focusing on grades, many methods encourage students to reorient their attention to learning. For example, evolving assignments – means papers written in installment with descriptive feedback but no grades until the end.
This assignment shows that work can constantly be improved, and learning is never finished. These projects will also help prepare students for the outside world, where they will have year-long engineering projects or book deals with dozens of drafts.
Other possible activities:
Other possible activities include learning reflections. It encourages students to link current assignments to the skills they will need for their future jobs. For example, if a student is interested in being a biology researcher, he might reflect on the in-class presentation of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.
He will try to figure out how it will make him more comfortable communicating the scientific findings to a lay audience in the future. This idea is more externally oriented than it could be, but the focus is on grades and the benefits that skills-based knowledge can yield.
Lastly, teachers can help prioritize learning by shifting their diction when giving assignments. For example, instead of saying, “this is what I want you to do,” teachers can say, “This is what this assignment will teach you.” After all, teaching is about what the students gain, not what the teachers want.
Encourage Intrinsic Motivation for Learning
For educational success, intrinsic motivation is a significant factor. However, some students are naturally more inclined to have one motivation or the other. Therefore, teachers play an essential role in increasing intrinsic motivation in all their students. Intrinsic motivation is facilitated by two factors: interest and control.
The material has to hold the students’ interest, and the students must feel that they can exert control over the online learning process.
Teachers should display passion about the subject matter themselves to increase motivation. Dry presentations will discourage even the most motivated students, and compelling ones can draw in the most apathetic.
Teachers can also employ student-led teaching activities to increase students’ control over their learning. It will help students set their own performance goals and choose their paper and presentation topics.
Adverse Effects of Grades on Students
In addition to the argument whether students’ focus on grades is healthy or not, the owner if you do this is dead rates can affect students negatively.
Most student evaluations consist of evaluative feedback to judge student work and descriptive feedback on how a student can be more competent. Descriptive feedback is more important for student learning, while students focus heavily on evaluative feedback.
For example, one study divided students into three groups: some got descriptive feedback, some got evaluative feedback, and the rest got no feedback. Providing evaluative feedback does not appear to enhance students’ performance in problem-solving. On the other hand, students receiving descriptive feedback performed significantly better on all subsequent tasks than students in the other two groups.
Grade-focused students always look for shortcut ways of achieving things. For example, assignments carry good marks in any course. So students tend to hire online services as Essay Typer them get their projects done on time instead of independently. And the reason is getting the highest marks possible.
The psychological effects of grades on students
It affects students’ psyche when the present gradation system announces the quantified results to the public. It is a shame to receive a lower grade, and everyone knows about it. No one prefers to show the low rates they received to others. If they are getting low grades continuously, they will feel out of the track, and sometimes, they may quit education.
Students’ low grades in schools make them feel depressed and inferior to their classmates. A division is created between the students who obtain higher grades and lower grades. An attitude of superiority and inferiority develops in them.
Students with higher grades would not take risky or innovative tasks in fear of getting lower grades. Instead, they will choose simple tasks much below their caliber. This keeps them away from learning or experimenting with new things. It makes them cowards. The comparisons made by parents and teachers about the grades students get will affect them badly. It can even make them detached from society.
Disadvantages of Grade System
Although grades serve a purpose, there are some negative consequences of their existence. For example:
- Subjective: Grades still have subjectivity, even though the letter grade is universally recognized and accepted. This is less true in math and science as the answers are black and white. But the subjectivity of grading is most apparent in subjects like English. To exemplify, there could be bias involved if a teacher creates a rubric to score a writing assignment with letter grades. Furthermore, although the letter grade is standardized, the grading practices are not. This means that one teacher would score an A, another could consider a B, depending on their grading principles.
- Limited: The grading system doesn’t accurately reflect a student’s learning. There is no explanation for what got students to the grade they achieved. Some may be learning more than others but not able to apply their knowledge well to the task at hand.
- Time-consuming: Many teachers need to spend considerable time setting up a grading scale that translates understanding into a comparable letter grade. This also leans towards a testing culture rather than a learning culture. Many students will ask the question, “Is it going to be on the test?” when learning a new concept, rather than being excited to absorb the new material.
Ways to shift the class culture from Grades to Learning
Some of the most effective ways to change a class culture from grading to learning are –
Delay the grade:
Delay the delivery of the actual grade, so student focus moves from the grade to the feedback. Instead of discussing points, the teacher should assist the students with their corrections and discuss the concepts and feedback. Some students might be disgusted for some time, but they will focus on their actual performance over time.
Lower the stakes:
Research suggests that homework or formative assessment should never be evaluated for accuracy. Most teachers record completion grades for homework. Homework should be a chance to practice and explore. To lower the pressure, even more, a teacher should advertise to students that their lowest quiz grade would be automatically drop each term. This eliminated a lot of anxiety and tears.
Tests and other ‘one and done’ situations will never get the best out of students, mainly because of time and memorization. Many high school math departments had a policy of offering a retake test per term to replace the lowest test grade. If your school doesn’t have a redo policy, advocate for one.
2019 Inside Higher Ed article suggested sound pedagogical reasons to ‘not grading’. However, the litany of research findings has shown that grades play to extrinsic motivation, increase the fear of failure and decrease the enjoyment of learning. More than that, grades are not necessarily a healthy measure of student learning. And, based on additional research, grades are related to rampant inflation.
Despite the flaws with grading, grades are not going to be eliminated. Prestigious colleges need them for admissions and scholarship opportunities. Employers view grades as a measure of technical skill and hard work. Good grades are even linked to higher lifetime earning potential.
However, we need to be careful that grades do not eclipse learning as the end goal of education. Students’ stress levels rise, and employers prioritize skills and experience over GPA. By providing students with high-quality, descriptive, and constructive feedback, teachers can help them become learners with a passion for knowledge that will serve them all their lives.
Ethan Taylor is a famous educationist and Ph.D. scholar and is working with renowned educational institutes of the UK. He is working with Myassignmenthelp.com for several years now, guiding students with dissertations and assignments on request. In addition, in his free time, Ethan loves painting and baking.