Reflection on UCET

On Friday, I presented at the UCET conference at the University of Utah. I talked about my experience with standards based grading, the way I have implemented it in my classroom, and my new project, the 3D Gradebook. After the weeks of preparation that went into the presentation, I took a few days off before writing this little reflection, answering some questions, and posting the video of my session.

Preparing to give this presentation and standing in front of 30 teachers, coaches, and administrators challenged me to be at my best and to really seek to understand my subject matter.  I was also introducing a piece of software that I’ve created.  Sharing work is always nerve-wracking, and this was the same.

Overall, I thought the session was a success.  I was impressed with the level of knowledge in the room, and I learned a ton from each person in the room.  I’m excited for the spirit of collaboration that I see in the standards based grading community.

I want to take a minute to answer some questions that I got in my Google Form after the session was over.

  1. Just ways to use the data to inform student.
    1. I think that the beauty of the 3D Gradebook is that it leaves decisions about how to use the data to the teacher.  As teachers we get to decide how to use the data we’ve collected, what interventions we will use, and how to use it to inform grades.  It is just a data platform that presents data in interesting and meaningful ways.  It isn’t an assessment or intervention platform.  Those decisions are left to the teacher.
  2. How would it be different or better than Canvas Mastery Gradebook and benefits of 3D over that?
    1. When I started using Canvas in my classroom, I used the Mastery Gradebook with my students.  While it does the same thing that the 3D Gradebook does as far as collecting and displaying student data, my students had a difficult time getting meaningful information from it.  The teacher view is fairly user friendly, but I found the student view difficult to navigate.  I also like the 3D Gradebook’s multiple views for crunching data.  Each view provides a valuable snapshot into student achievement.  I love Canvas, but I think the Mastery Gradebook still needs some work to be the right solution.
  3. Is it possible for each user to enter their own standards/learning targets?
    1. Yes.  In fact, I recommend that over just importing the core standards.  Robert Marzano recommends 15-20 learning standards that we track throughout the year.
  4. What will be the cost for schools (especially Title I schools)?
    1. I’m still working on the price point.  My goal is to make it affordable if a teacher wants to use their classroom budget to buy it and to be a much more affordable solution for districts and schools than my competitors.
  5. Would beta testing work with a Biology course, or are you only interested in beta testing with ELA?
    1. Anyone who wants to beta test is welcome.  In fact, I would like to get feedback on how it works in other disciplines and grade levels.

Please feel free to post any other questions in the comments.  Along with the 3D Gradebook, I really want this blog to serve as a forum for discussing SBG and coming up with new ideas and solutions that we can benefit from.