Monday, May 23, 2016

Part Marks in Math

Part Marks in Math

I know some teachers who ask a question, leave a space for work, and then put an answer box at the bottom, and if the student doesn't get the right answer, they don't get any marks. I think that marking this way is wrong. This promotes students to just write answers, and not show their work, I think it also shows laziness from the teacher. Students should never get a zero, unless they don't do any work. I think if the student can draw a picture (if it applies to the question) they should be able to get some marks, even if they don't answer it right, or can't answer it. Being able to show the diagram says that they understand something.

I also know teachers who will say that they got the first step wrong, so everything is wrong after that, 0 marks. If a student is answering an algebraic expression, and gets the wrong answer to the first step but all their steps are correct and all the rest of their work is correct you should only take away part marks. In this case, yes the student should know how to do simple calculations, but this is not what you are testing, you are testing whether they follow BEDMAS properly or not.

I believe that part marks are an important part of assessment for learning. When students get zero's they think "I did nothing right, I'm never going to get it", but when students get part marks they are more inclined to see where they went wrong, and either figure out how to fix it themselves, or ask for help understanding.

What are your thoughts on assessment in math? Do you think that part marks are a necessary and beneficial part of student learning?

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