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I teach for an online high school. My district has fully embraced grading for learning
practices, and I embrace them as well, with one exception: deadlines. Currently in our
online school we have only one deadline at the end of the semester. 18 weeks is a long
time for high school students to stay focused and on pace, especially when they don't "see"
a teacher everyday. So many just don't stay on pace (despite us offering regular feedback
and consistently communicating "on-paceness" to parents and students throughout the
semester). What we inevitably see is the mass submission of work at the end of the
semester. And much of this work is low quality. Many of our teachers trend grade and
clearly see a trend down as the semester comes to a close. As a teacher who cares deeply
about my students' learning, it's so disheartening at the end of every semester. Ken, what
suggestions would you give for improving this situation? We're thinking about adding
another deadline around week 9 but would love to hear other suggestions.

Megan Panek


I think you need to set what one school calls "Firm Due Dates" for summative assessments
and then have clear consequences (not mark penalties) for those who do not get them in
on time. The objective of those consequences should be to get them done asap because if
it is important assessment evidence it is better that it be done late than not at all. I have to
say also that in an online high school I am not sure what those consequences could/should
be but those of you who teach in and understand that learning environment should be able
to come up with answers through professional dialogue.