Practice-Software Tip #9: Collaboration and Calibration


Collaboration and Calibration: Improving Student Learning and Classroom Equity

Collaboration helps us do our best work to improve student learning, and more importantly, it allows us to strive toward equity across our classrooms.

I make a case for collaboration in this blog post, where I lean heavily on a 2016 blog post by Sarah Caban, who specifically explored calibrating our grading practices through collaboration. In her post, Sarah says, “We need to collectively agree to a level of complexity and create a standard scale to measure it.”

Once teachers agree on what should be assessed, they can articulate what success looks like and determine rigor levels and/or intermediate steps students would take as they approach meeting expectations.

Collaborative examination of assessment criteria and the student work scored against it also helps teachers find gaps in instruction and ultimately might position teachers to help one another consider how to close those gaps.

How does the JumpRope software support you in this process?

One of the stumbling blocks to this work is “right at your fingertips” access to scoring criteria, rigor levels, grading scales, etc. Often, teachers work in isolation, finding or designing tools to support classroom learning.

When the scoring criteria or rigor levels are accessible to every teacher through a common platform, as they are in JumpRope, teachers can more effectively engage in discussions about the rigor levels themselves, and, as Sarah says, they can work together to calibrate their thinking and understanding as they look at student work. The image below provides an example of rigor levels/scoring criteria, as seen in JumpRope.

This sort of easy-access rigor scale is a step toward equity across classrooms because it ensures that the expectations for student success don’t vary from one teacher to the next. That equity makes the school stronger in myriad ways. It provides transparency for the entire community and helps ensure that as each student rises to the next grade level, the receiving teachers are confident of what those students have learned.

This knowledge, coupled with knowledge of their students, will help the teacher tailor lessons and assessments that effectively move their students through the rigor levels. The common thread is that Hugolina and her peers are all striving toward the same learning goals. The teachers are aware of and understand the goals, and with JumpRope, they can see those goals and progressions at any time.

If you’d like to learn more about how JumpRope can help you in the collaboration and calibration process, reach out today for a discussion.