Redos and Retakes
Why should we allow, encourage, or require redos and retakes?
One of the foundations of standards-based learning is the ability to re-assess when necessary to the learning process. With SBL, learning is the constant and time is the variable, and if learning happens after we have assessed, we may need to reassess in order to provide the most accurate report of student achievement.
When should we allow, encourage, or require redos and retakes?
Standards-based teachers allow redos and revisions when it is good for learning.
Formatives: Ultimately, redos and retakes should be at the discretion of the teacher based on what we know about the student and their learning, or what we know about future opportunities for learning. Some teachers allow no redos or retakes of formative work, since there will be an opportunity on the summative to show improved learning. Others allow them (or require them) on formatives only when the content from that particular assessment is essential to future learning or success on the summative, and won’t be reassessed before then.
Summatives: Most redos and retakes come on summative assessments, as these are the scores that “count.” These are the assessments that we have most intentionally designed to capture learning, and when a student does not perform as expected, it might be time for a retake of all or part of an assessment.
- When to require or allow a reassessment: If student’s achievement on the summative does not match what you know about their ability based on multiple formative assessments, then you may want to require that student to redo a part of the assessment. Our job is to provide the most accurate assessment of a student’s achievement as possible, so if something is glaringly wrong, then we should talk to the student to address this. If a student approaches you and wants to reassess, and they have evidence of new learning since the assessment, or evidence that shows the summative score may not be an accurate representation of what they can do, then we should allow the reassessment. Some teachers require additional work, reflections, or meetings to determine whether the re-do is warranted or that relearning has occurred.
- When not to allow a reassessment: If a student wants to reassess because they don’t like their scores, but all formative evidence you have shows that their achievement is actually accurate, and there is no evidence of new learning since the summative, then there is no reason for reassessment.
How do we manage redos and retakes?
The two biggest struggles teachers seem to have when first allowing reassessments are the amount and the timing.
Amount of reassessments: If you are overwhelmed with redo or retake requests, then something is wrong. It may be that you are allowing reassessments on formatives, so students are constantly asking to retake small quizzes or to redo small tasks or assignments. If you are providing a later opportunity to show new learning on the targets in these assignments or quizzes, then there is no need to reassess. If you are overwhelmed with requests after summative assessments, then it may be that the assessment has not matched the formatives. If students are doing well on the formatives, but not performing well on the summative, then you may need to change your formatives (or your summative) to make sure that you are assessing what you have been practicing and providing feedback on. As teachers, we should have a pretty accurate idea how our students will perform on our summative assessment--just as a director has a pretty good idea how opening night is going to go. Yes there will be a few surprises, but there shouldn’t be many.
Timing of reassessments: If you are getting swamped with reassessment requests at the same time, consider limiting when students can reassess. You are in control of this, so set a date (any reassessment requests must be made by x date, and completed by x date) or even a day in class (all reassessments will take place on x date in class). We are human, so we must set reasonable limits that allow us to assess thoughtfully and keep our sanity. Just be clear about limits, and be flexible when it comes to learning.
- 12 Steps to creating a successful Redo and Retake policy
- Redos and Retakes Done Right (14 practical tips)
- Redos, Retakes, and Do-Overs
- Standards-Based Grading: Work Ethic and Preparation for College
- Failure is essential
- Chapter on Accountability
How do we record new learning in JumpRope?
There are really two main options when it comes to recording new learning in JR:
- You can simply replace the previous score with the new one. The challenge to this one is that you lose record of who revised and when they did. It can also be a challenge to always remember if you made the appropriate changes or not. This is an appropriate method if you are making very few changes.
- You can make a new assignment (called revision or whatever cool name you come up with) and just enter scores for those who revise. This will NOT impact those who did not revise, as JR will only look at the last score you entered for the student/learning target. Using this method will allow you to track who has revised, which may lead to valuable conversations or data as the learning continues.