Kathleen + Caren

Are on the Map

Meet Caren and Kathleen, authors of the book Rethinking Letter Grades and master educators. Their goal, to provide the best learning environments for students, motivated them to create a five-step process of teaching and assessing using “Learning Maps.” This process, creating “big ideas,” describing levels of performance, and selecting and matching evidence of learning to descriptions, clearly showed students their strengths and helped them to succeed.

Building and using learning maps is the foundation of QUIO. Creating learning maps may be a new process for you, and you may have questions along the way. We have provided FAQ here for you, but if you don’t find what you are looking for, just ask. Caren and Kathleen are here to answer your questions.

Where does “effort” fit? Isn’t it a part of a letter grade?

Effort, participation, and behaviour are important learning attributes, but they are not included in a letter grade (See O’Connor 2007, 19.) One exception is when there is a specific reference to one of these attributes, and it is stated as a prescribed learning standard, such as participation in physical education (“participate in a variety of physical activity that support their health and physical activity goals”  [Physical and Health Education 7-9 British Columbia Ministry of Education draft curriculum, 2013]).

Although effort is not a component of arriving at letter grades, it is definitely something we report on. In fact, some schools make sure that this important aspect has a prominent spot on their report cards.

A reference worth reading related to your question is Carol Dweck’s research. In her book Mindset, Dweck emphasizes the importance of effort and its effect on learning. Another book, Drive, by Daniel Pink, looks at the importance of effort in everything we do in our lives.

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