Lean Teaching Q&A #6

Question: How do you evaluate weekly graded assignments when you have 300 students in a class?

go-no-goAnswer: One way to do that would be borrow a few Lean concepts such as single-point learning lessons and go/no-go plug gauges. Whether you have 30 or 300 students, the idea is assure that the weekly graded assignment is focused on a single point (or perhaps two points) and that the work submitted is satisfactory and can be evaluated almost at-a-glance.

To make this work, students have to be informed that satisfactory work may not warrant individual feedback. Unsatisfactory work will warrant feedback, but if the instructor has mistake-proofed the assignment, then there should be few instances of unsatisfactory work. The instructor should, of course, always give group feedback, emphasizing the overall outcome of the assignment, relevancy to the topic, and relevancy to students lives or careers.

The point of higher education is learning, not “mastery,” as some say. Therefore, single-point learning lessons and go/no-go grading gauges should be sufficient in most cases (especially in graduate studies).

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