I have been looking at alternate report cards lately – some that use standards based grading, some that assess 21st century skills, etc… As I did my research, I ran across an article from 2011 that appeared in Good magazine, challenging readers to “Redesign the Report Card.” I was intrigued by the idea of not only rethinking what would be assessed on my ideal report card, but how it would be visually represented.
Since the article was from 2011, I deduced that there was probably a subsequent article announcing the winner. I was correct. But before you look, here is a slideshow of the submissions from readers that made it to the final vote. I was intrigued by the variety of presentation ideas as well as the infographic-type style incorporated into many of the redesigns. The addition of QR codes to one of them so that parents could scan to get more detailed information was brilliant!
Here is the link to the winner. Considering this was created six years ago, I feel that it is pretty innovative. However, I still think that we need to consider the question of what kind of feedback we are actually trying to communicate with reports to parents. What does a grade really mean – how much the student knows now, or how much she crammed for a final exam and forgot the next day?
I think it would be a fantastic idea to pose this challenge to students. Think of the rich discussions and debates you could have in the classroom as they struggle to create a meaningful report card. Even with younger students you could ask them what their parents would want to know about how they do in school. Older students could start with what should be assessed and talk about if grades should be used or another way to keep students and parents informed about progress.