Grading systems are an important factor in any classroom. Students need to be familiar with the way a teacher evaluates a student's work. Below are some considerations a teacher must face before flipping a classroom:
Due dates are tricky when it comes to a flipped classroom. In some classes, teachers have a set of tasks paired with due dates. In other classes, teachers may cluster a chapter or unit together so that students may take extra time on certain tasks. In other situations, a teacher may decide to make a single due date at the end of the marking period.
Whichever you choose, realize that flipped classrooms, much like traditional classrooms, will need some flexibility. Use these guiding questions to consider how you will approach due dates:
- How should my due dates reflect milestone markers in my class such as end of activity, end of chapter, end of unit, etc.?
- Which students will thrive with my system of due dates? Which students will struggle?
- Will I have enough flexibility for my due dates to cluster an entire "chunk" of their learning and still have grading done by the end of the marking period?
- How can I help students understand my due date system in a clear and organized manner?
Weighing In-Class and Out-of-Class Assignments
Almost any teacher will tell you that "homework apathy" is a large obstacle in the education process. Students forget, have distractions, willingly decide to not do homework, etc. As a teacher, you can only do so much to influence their choices outside of school.
Weighing different assignments will have a large impact on their overall grades. Your in-class and out-of-class assignments should heavily tie together to make sure students understand the importance of doing both types of classwork. At the same time, a student who does no work in class but does homework or a student who does in-class work but refuses to do homework must face the academic consequences of not completing both types of assignments.
Some teachers have found that making homework a pre-requisite for in-class work is effective. If a student arrives at school without completing the introductory assignment at home, the student is required to complete the homework in class instead of participating in an engaging activity. This is successful with some students, but is also seen as a discouraging factor for others. Once again, it is your choice as an educator to establish your policy. Start with an equal split among homework, classwork and assessments, then adjust as you see fit. It is almost impossible to find the optimal class setup on your first attempt.
Assessments and Projects
How will your tests and projects influence a student's grade? Since the student has a stronger support in the classroom, you may want to have the classwork take a dominant role in their grades, especially if the homework is a prerequisite. In other situations, an assessment such as an end-of-chapter exam may have a stronger weight on students' grades.
This is the second-trickiest part of flipping a classroom (finding appropriate homework is the most challenging aspect). Under a flipped model, participation can happen both at home and in class. Often, teachers with flipped classrooms will give a higher weight to participation observed in the classroom, where a student can help classmates and engage more frequently. Remember, in the class, more engaging activities can happen, so students have more opportunities to participate in the learning community.
It can also be difficult to assess participation at home. In some tools, such as EdPuzzle, the teacher may inject questions into a video and not allow the video to continue until the student completes the question.