Importance of Grading System

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INTRODUCTION
The main purpose of this report is to highlight the importance of grades and grading frameworks. Emphasis is going to be placed what grades communicate, what they should, and what methods are appropriate. Grades are the reflection of the students’ performance during the reporting period. The report on students progress is reflected by the grades most of the institutions/ universities of the world use. The letters are based upon the scores normally called percent scores. These scores are then converted into letters using different cutoff percentages that vary from institution to institution. This is the burning issue throughout the world that whether the grades reflect the true performance of the students; the answer to this question is definitely no. Then, how the students’ performance should be reported? It is too hard to answer this question, some of the assessment specialists tried towards this end. While many educators are highly focused on state tests, it is important to consider that over the course of a year, teachers can build in many opportunities to assess how students are learning and then use this information to make beneficial changes in instruction. This diagnostic use of assessment to provide feedback to teachers and students over the course of instruction is called formative assessment. It stands in contrast to summative assessment, which generally takes place after a period of instruction and requires making a judgment about the learning that has occurred (e.g., by grading or scoring a test or paper). There are three basic conceptual frameworks that give meaning to grades. These are: Criterion-referencing, norm-referencing and self-referencing.

Criterion- Referenced Grading (mastery)
Criterion-referenced grading is also known as absolute-referenced grading or task-referenced grading. This is done by assigning grades by comparing student’s performance to a defined set of standards to be achieved, targets to be learned, or knowledge to be acquired. It is believed that students who are able to complete the tasks, achieve the standards completely or learn the targets are given better grades, regardless of how well other students perform or whether they have worked to their full potential. This model's framework is based on a curriculum, course, or lesson. By establishing absolute standards, grades are assigned by comparing a learner's performance to a set of standards. Learners meeting the learning targets receive higher grades than those not meeting the targets. This method presumes the learning targets are appropriately designed for the particular learner population and the instructor is focusing instruction on the learning targets. Principal Advantages

* Criterion-referenced grading provides feedback relative to leaning targets and/or performance standards. * This form of grading emphasizes the objectives of the curriculum. The student’s grade is not affected by the class. * Under this form, if improvement is needed, a student can simply observe the identified learning targets to know what areas they should work on. * Unlike norm-referenced grading this system is adaptable to any size classroom setting.

There are two principal disadvantages that present themselves as hurdles for the criterion-referenced form of grading. * Establishment of learning targets and/or performance standards is difficult. * Teachers set the criteria, standards, or targets based on what they know about how students will usually perform. Norm-Referenced Grading (comparative).

Norm-referencing is also called grading with relative standards or group referenced grading. To use this approach, one has to assign grades based on student’s performance as compared to other students in the class. In other words this model's framework is based on a comparison among learners. Establishing relative standards means making comparisons that are relative to the group such that a learner's...
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