Language

The language I use around grading is very specific, especially when I'm speaking with students.

"Your grade is based on how much you learn. You must show me that you've learned."

I also have a go-to response when students ask if a particular paper will be graded:

"The paper itself isn't important. However, the work you do on the paper can demonstrate learning, which is how you're graded. Second, and more importantly, mistakes you make on paper help me help you."

Students usually agree with this sentiment. Until grades come around.

"I did all the papers! Why is my grade so low?" "You haven't demonstrated learning yet. What would you like to show me?" "...but I did all the papers."

The language is the same, but we're speaking past one another. Until we can make clear the distinction between the process of learning and the demonstration (which can certainly happen in the process), we'll continue to fight culture.

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