• Jesse Olsen

Introducing a more flexible grading scale!

JumpRope places a lot of value in the fact that standards-based grading improves the feedback loop between teachers and students, and our entire system has been designed to make this feedback more descriptive and dynamic.

One thing we’ve heard loud and clear from our partner schools over the years is that grading students based on numbers (1-4 or 0-100, for example) is very limiting. Numeric grades not only conjure nightmares of traditional grading systems (a big no-no), but they also suggest a false objectivity within a system that we all know to be wholly subjective. Furthermore, it can be very hard for teachers to agree on a particular grading scale or on the specific methods used to calculate an overall grade for a student (do you take an average of the scores, or use the Power Law?)

That’s why I’m so excited to announce a new feature that’s designed to make grading more flexible and expressive. Starting today, you can use any of these 24 carefully-selected emojis while entering grades in the Grade tab.

To complement our new set of emojis available in the Grade tab, we’ve also developed an algorithm to determine overall scores across multiple emojis. The algorithm evaluates the sentiment of each emoji and applies a time-based regression analysis to determine the overall emoji that accurately represents the trend of student learning. The best way to introduce it is to show a few examples:

To get started, simply log into JumpRope and go to the Grade tab. As always, remember that your job as an assessor is to carefully evaluate student work not just for completion but for evidence of mastery on the various learning objectives. We recommend developing a rubric for each assignment with language describing the requirements necessary to earn each emoji in order to avoid subjectivity in grading. Here’s an example of some potential rubric language for a few of the emojis:

  • Student does a great job: smiley face!

  • I know you cheated but I can’t prove it; also I think it was pretty clever: winky face.

  • Next time you should be sure to ask in class if you don’t understand: hand raised.

  • Passing score earned so that you can maintain eligibility since we need you playing Thursday against North Central High: basketball.

  • Your chances of getting an A are about as real as this emoticon, but at least this looks good on your report card: special unicorn.

  • You didn’t write your name on the paper - I know it was yours from the handwriting but you need to learn some day: trash.

  • You struggled with this but I’m too nice to be the only one between you and the finish line: graduating smiley.

  • You put in a strong effort but behavioral problems ultimately prevented you from achieving proficiency: sad monster.

How does this work alongside the numeric or code-based scores that you’ve been entering all year? The answer is that the new algorithm will take care of that for you, and it will “just work.” It’s probably best if we leave it at that. Seriously.. at the end of the day, do you really think it matters?

Next up on our features list: hashtags, @mentions, photos, and re-commenting in comments to help you start trending topics. Now everyone will know about the tussle in the second floor hallway just moments after it happens!

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