SBG Homework only?

Tell me this is stupid.

I haven’t found the time to implement Standards-Based Grading in my classes, even though I went to a great session on it at AAPT Summer Meeting in Portland in 2013.

So, over the break I devised this system for homework:

Objectives-Based Homework.

Your goal is no longer to score points. Your goal is now to demonstrate understanding. Each night’s homework will have one or more objectives. The standard objectives will be as follows:

-HW Objective 1. I followed the physics problem-solving process in constructing a solution to the problems (not exercises) or I wrote a clear, logical answer to the questions in the assignment.
-HW Objective 2. I understand and can restate the major concepts/big ideas inherent in the assignment.
-HW Objective 3. I can clearly identify any of the concepts, ideas, or mathematical applications in the assignment that I did not fully understand.
-HW Objective 4. I successfully solved/answered most of the problems/questions in the assignment.
-HW Objective 5. I can solve a new problem using the same concepts/ideas that were inherent in the assignment.

Homework will be assigned using textbook and online sources. There will be homework quizzes for some assignments. These will likely consist of one or more problems/questions that are similar to the problems/questions on the assignment (HW Objective 3). There may also be questions related to (HW Objective 2). This grade will be separate from the homework grade.

Individual homework assignments will be assessed in one of these three different ways:
– Students will complete a self-assessment, describing their success at meeting the objectives of the assignment.
– Students will submit a homework solution for a peer assessment. Assessment will primarily focus on whether the solution clearly demonstrates understanding of the problem-solving process.
– Students will submit a complete solution for instructor assessment or present their solution to the class. Assessment will primarily focus on whether the solution clearly demonstrates understanding of the problem-solving process.

Assessment of homework for process will be based on articles from The Physics Teacher by Kathleen Harper ( and Matthew Trawick (, and AIP by Sahana Murthy ( Rubrics I created from these articles are attached below.

I would assess on the basis of 2 – Clearly fulfills objective. 1 – Partially fulfills objective 0 – Did not complete or does not even partially fulfill objective.

Have to work a little more on how I’d translate this to grades, but generally I’m pretty generous on homework grades already. Major objection from students will likely come if I remove possibilities for extra credit on homework. Many of them earn a homework grade of greater than 100% under the current system, mostly by completing extra credit test review assignments on UTexas Quest (




About marcreif

I live and teach high school physics in the town I was born in, Fayetteville, Arkansas. My professional interests include modeling instruction and Advanced Placement courses. I also work as a College Board Workshop Consultant, which means I lead Pre-AP and AP Science Teacher workshops. Lately I've also been leading a fair amount of student review sessions for the National Math and Science Initiative. I have a website for students ( and another for AP Summer Institute participants ( I tweet infrequently (@marcreif).
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s