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Alice Keeler

Hacking Google Classroom for Standards Based Grading

Standards Based Grading for Google Classroom users. Hack your class to allow for a better way to communicate student progress on standards.
Hacking Google Classroom for Standards Based Grading

As you probably know Google Classroom is not designed for standards based grading (SBG). However, you should not feel that you are locked into an archaic grading system of averaging points just because you use Google Classroom. Doing what is best for kids sometimes requires a little creative energy to do it better.

Averaging Points Stinks

A student scores a 0 on an assessment and a 100 on another assessment. By averaging scores the student has a 50%. They showed complete mastery by scoring 100 but are still awarded an F.

Grades should be an accurate reflection of what a student knows.

Averaging points will most likely NOT result in a reflection of student learning. Factoring in failure skews negatively when a student demonstrates success.

Compliance Skews Accurate Reporting

Including behaviors such as turning things in on time also skews the accuracy of a grade to reflect what a student knows. Instead, keep a separate accounting of student behaviors.

Create Topics in Google Classroom

Standards Based Grading is about listing the standards and assessing how well students mastered the standard. For each of your standards, create a topic in Google Classroom.

Create button on the classwork page of Google Classroom. Google Classroom for Standards Based Grading

Leave Grading Turned Off

By default, the settings of Google Classroom are turned off. Leave “no overall grade” and leave toggled off “Show overall grade to students.”

Grading in the settings cog. It says grade calculation by default this is no overall grade and do not show overall grade to student.

Create Mastery Assignments

Standards Based Grading is not about compliance, formative assessment, participation, or homework. SBG is documentation of student achievement on the standards. Create a separate Google Classroom or separate Topics for non-standards based assessments.

The assignment is likely to be generic. This is where students can upload evidence of their knowledge of the standard.

Assess on a Rubric

If you want to get into Standards Based Grading I highly recommend Dr. Thomas Guskey and Dr. Rick Wormeli. While it is popular to have “exceeds standards” on a rubric, this can be problematic.

From a practical perspective, “Exceeds Standard” presents additional difficulties. In most standards-based environments, mastering a standard means hitting the target. It signifies achieving the goal and learning what was expected.

Dr. Thomas Guskey

Instead of percentages, you may want to score on a 4 point scale. Remember, the GOAL is to MEET the standard. When a student achieves a 3 this would be interpreted as an A when calculating letter grades.

  • 0 – Not Attempted Yet
  • 1 – Not Proficient
  • 2 – Below Standard
  • 3 – Meets Standard
  • 4 – Advanced Applications

Rubric Scores are NOT a Percentage

Your grades can not be A, C, F, and super low F. A 2 on a rubric score SHOULD BE A grade of a C not 50%.

Scores in Google Classroom

For the mastery assignment, you want to make the max score 4. However, remember that a 3 is a grade of an A so allowing Google Classroom to calculate your scores will result in students appearing to be performing lower than they really are.

The score target is 3

This is what makes doing Standards Based Grading in Google Classroom so challenging. How do you extract the rubric scores and it not be a giant hassle?

Note: The rubrics built into Google Classroom can NOT be exported. I recommend you ONLY use them for feedback to the student. Use alicekeeler.com/gcrubric to more easily create rubrics for Google Classroom.

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Exporting Google Classroom Scores

To export scores in Google Classroom, you want to open ANY assignment. Use the cog in the upper right to select “Copy all grades to Google Sheets.” This will export all your rubric scores to a spreadsheet.

Modify the Spreadsheet

The exported scores in the spreadsheet has extra rows. I recommend you delete rows 1, 3, 4, and 5. Delete any assignment columns that are not mastery assignments. Column D is a percentage. Delete column D and insert your own column. There are multiple methods for calculating a composite score for SBG. You may want to use this scale from Marzano. However, remember that past failure should not influence the final score. Take an average of the rubric scores. There should be one score per standard. A 3.0 is an A not a 75%.

Use Schoolytics

I work part-time for Schoolytics to develop Google Classroom solutions. Your FREE Schoolytics account can help you to hack Standards Based Grading for your classes.

Reports by Topic

More features are coming but you can already see how students perform BY TOPIC! This is awesome if you are using each standard as a topic. Use the Students table to drill down to an individual student. Notice the 3 tabs along the top. The middle tab is “By assignment categories.” This will show you how students perform on each Topic (standard).

Assignment Tags

Adding hashtags to your Google Classroom assignments is a hidden easter egg of Schoolytics. Simply add #mastery or #standard5, or whatever you want to track, to the description of your Google Classroom assignment. You can use Schoolytics, for free, to see how your students overall are performing on the assignment tags as well as a student by student drilldown.

Assignments Submitted

One challenge with Standards Based Grading can be the record keeping. If students are submitting their evidence for standards to generic mastery assignments it would be challenging to review all the standards all the time for submissions.

When you log into Schoolytics the home screen has a tile for “Assignments to Grade.” Click on “Start Grading.” This will show you a list of all assignments submitted for all classes. Sort by “Turned In At” to make it easy to be quickly responsive to provide feedback on student work.

Assignments to grade square in Schoolytics. Click on the start grading button.

Google Classroom for Standards Based Grading

Google Classroom for Standards Based Grading is possible with some creative adjustments. Stay tuned for more support from Schoolytics to help you with your Standards Based Grading.

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