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For years, I assessed in chunks of quiz/test/lab report and averaged the scores together. While I still collect information from students using those tools, I now structure feedback and assessment according to the learning objectives I've written for my courses. Assessment by objective seems like a small change, but it has a huge impact on student mindset and learning. It helps to correct inequitable and racist practices in my former system of assessment. It helps to align instruction and assessment with what I want my students to take away from my course. 

Combining the influence of numerous master teachers, I've written up some of my experiences, hints, and ideas about Assessment by learning objective below.

Note on terms: Assessment by learning objective is widely called Standards-Based Grading. I think of standards as items written by federal or state agencies that set the overall direction of courses, whereas learning objectives are a teacher's translation of standards into student-friendly, pedagogically useful statements that reflect the goals and activities of the course. Additionally, for me assessment as a process of eliciting understanding and generating feedback, while grading refers to placing a numerical or letter value on student work.

Sample Course Learning Objectives

Physics (Introductory Algebra-Trig based Modeling Physics course, 9th grade)


Chemistry (Introductory Chemistry, 11th grade)


Astronomy and Modern Physics (Semester elective grades 10-12)


Engineering Principles (Semester elective grades 10-12)

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