Partial Credit
02152019, 01:27 PM


I recently had a PD where our departments had to sit together. So for like the first time this year, I actually got to work and talk for more than just a few minutes with my other science teachers. We don’t have a lot of faculty meetings or PD where this happens.
So we got to talk about what we do in each of our own classes. One thing that came up was how we grade. Two other teacher said that they count a whole answer wrong if they leave off any part.
For example, in physics when displacement is calculated the answer has the value, unit, and direction (20 m East). The two teachers said that if they didn’t put the unit or the direction, they counted the whole wrong.
They said they same thing with calculations and significant figures. In science, when calculations are performed, final answers should be in the correct number of significant digits. So if the correct answer is 23.1 but a student puts 23.11 or 23, they count the whole answer wrong.
I said that I give partial credit. So I assign each part one point usually. So 1 point for correct answer, unit, direction and significant figures. So if for displacement, the correct answer is 20 m East and they don’t put the m for meters or East, I count off 1 point. So they still get a point for the value and anything else that is correct.
The other two teachers couldn’t believe this. One stated that it would take too long to grade like that. In my opinion, it doesn’t. The other stated that he grades this way because he has gone over it in class so if they don’t do it on the test then that is their fault for not learning how to do it the right way.
I still have chemistry and calculus tests from my college classes where the professors gave us partial credit so if I was given partial credit in college, I think it’s acceptable to do it for my high school students.
I do require my students to show their work when solving problems so I can see if they tried and I think they should get credit for at least attempting to do the work.
It just got me to thinking, am I wrong? Am I being too lenient and not expecting more of my students?
I do find it interesting though that said teachers have complained about how their students fail their tests.
Last edited by MrsFrazzled; 02152019 at 01:29 PM..
Reason: Typo
