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Lesson Plans

Re:Process Product and Grading

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Kit Eakle (
Thu, 10 Oct 1996 11:53:30 -0400 (EDT)

>> After months of reading this list and being what I believe is called a
>> lurker , I'm taking a deep breath and making the plunge into this
>> discussion about process and product.
>> Oh yeah I also donned my flame proof jacket to keep me safe!
>> I agree that both process and product are important but I have come to a
>> point in my teaching where I have to start being more accountable, where I
>> have to walk the walk not just talk the talk. By that I mean that in my
>> classes I tell the students "experiment ... take a risk...the process is
>> important...that we are learning through the process of experimentation
>> ...etc etc" But then, what do I do, I grade the product. I have
>> a tangible art work and I can establish criteria, rubrics and every other
>> way of grading /evaluation/ feedback whatever you want to call it, but it
>> is still, in my case, based around the product. I tell them in words that I
>> value the process but in my deeds I am only giving creedance to the
>> product. Putting this in a context I teach in an international high
>> school where students are very grade conscious.
>> The question lies in how do I make that shift in both my practise and the
>> students minds from validating only the product to giving equal creedence
>> to the process. I have a few ways I am dabbling with, is there anyone out
>> there grappling with this issue too?
>> Karen Fish
>> Hong Kong International School
>> Hong Kong


It is indeed difficult, isn't it? You can not really assess without
evidence, and always evidence is some form of product. However, you CAN
insist on assessing intermediary "products" of the process and NOT simply
the final product. When students must submit sketches, idea books,
journals, with the final product, and the teachers gives a good percentage
of the mark to these "process" oriented "products," the message comes
across loud and clear, ESPECIALLY to your "grade concious" students. It
might even be useful to drive the point home by giving an assignment in
which they must complete a product to receive a mark, but mark them ONLY ON
the preliminary sketches, journalizing of ideas, etc. Be sure to make the
criteria clear. It could be as simple as "For this assignment I will be
marking you on the number of preliminary sketches and novel alternatives
you have thought of."

You can also interview them and look at the work at a given stage of the
process, being sure to make it clear you are looking for experiments, risk
taking, etc, and MARK them on those criteria, not the product.

Hope this helps!


J. Kit Eakle
Program Manager
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts,
Washington, DC 20566-0001
ph (202) 416-8870