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Assessment and Grading in SAIL Classes

Although you may need to add some extra components to the course grade, in a SAIL class you can continue to assess students the same way that you always have, whether that is using exams, writing papers, or completing projects. However, you will want to make sure that you are emphasizing the same ideas and skills in your assessments as you are emphasizing during in-class activities. This will not only make the in-class activities seem more purposeful, it will also prevent the students from being blindsided.

You likely will also want to include a grade for engagement with in-class activities because participation is such an important part of active in-class learning. Some base the participation grade on the tangible product of the work students are doing in class. Remember that the in-class activities are where students learn, not demonstrate mastery, so you may want to grade for effort more than accuracy. Giving students updates on their participation grade throughout the semester can be helpful feedback for them to know if they are meeting your expectations.

In addition, if you are asking students to do pre-class work you will likely want to carve out another small percentage of the grade for small assignments or quizzes that you use to ensure class preparation. Again, the purpose of these assignments are not to test mastery, so these should probably not be too difficult or worth too much of their final grade.

Finally, in a SAIL class you want to create an atmosphere where students work together and help each other learn the class material. Because of this, you will likely not want to grade on a curve, which will disincentivize them from cooperating with each other.