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CDI 2.X events are intensive, day-long (or longer) workshops that allow instructors to deeply explore ideas introduced in the CTE’s Course Design Institute. While the topics vary, the purpose of each CDI 2.X event does not: instructors will get a solid understanding of the underlying pedagogical theories and frameworks of the topic and lots of work time to incorporate the ideas into their teaching. Because of the advanced nature of the topics, prior participation in the Course Design Institute is typically required.
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What do grades mean, and what do we want them to mean? Student and faculty perceptions of grading can diverge greatly: students may perceive grades as subjective and arbitrary, or as an external reward, while faculty want grades to reflect students’ learning in a course (whether or not they actually do reflect learning is another matter). Most courses in American universities rely on the traditional method of calculating a weighted average to arrive at a letter grade, but faculty have long experimented with alternative grading methods (including contract grading and pass/fail grading) in order to emphasize learning over grades, clarify the meaning of grades, and reduce the drudgework of the grading process.
This day-long session will introduce participants to an alternative grading method called specifications grading. Specifications grading prioritizes transparency, student choice, and student responsibility to earn the grade they desire. It restores meaning to grading by aligning students’ work, a course’s learning objectives, and the grades students earn.
During the session, participants will analyze and discuss models of specifications grading from a variety of disciplines and class types, and assess their readiness to adopt specifications grading in their own teaching contexts. Participants will design specifications grading systems for their courses, articulate specifications for a course assignment, and give and receive feedback on their work.
This CDI 2.X event is open to former CDI participants and instructors who have tried specifications grading before (whether they have participated in CDI or not).
Have a suggestion for a CDI 2.X event? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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