Know what you Learn: Rigorous Process-Oriented Grading Strategies in MIT’s Physics GIRs

Principal Investigator
Prof. Leigh H. Royden, Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences; Dr. Paola Rebusco, Dr. Analia Barrantes, and David R. Custer; Experimental Study Group
Fund: Alumni Class Funds
Funding Period: AY2024
Department/Lab/Center: Experimental Study Group

We plan to design and implement a “Specification Grading” system for the physics GIRs, starting with ES.801 and ES.8012 (8.02 and 8.012 at the Experimental Study Group). The “Specification Grading” system uses assessments as a teaching and a learning tool and provides structured opportunities to the students to take responsibility for their learning. The goals include linking course grades to mastery of learning goals, making the hidden curriculum clearer to students, reducing students’ stress, and making a more equitable learning experience. During the summer 2023 and IAP 2024 we will redefine learning objectives and write growth-oriented assignments, rubrics, and examples using specification grading as a template. During the fall 2023 we will keep writing new material, while applying the new grading system to our fall physics classes.