An instructor may select to use Benchmarked Grading when setting up a peer assessment assignment in a Sync Mode course. The option will appear in the assignment creator in the Grading section, under Teacher Involvement.
The Benchmarked Grading option allows for the instructor to have a direct role and impact on the grading process. This grading style requires the instructor to grade a representative sample of 10 of the submissions to set the submission grade curve. The reviewing grade curve will apply to the reviewing accuracy and threshold scores.
In order to benchmark, there must be at least 10 submissions and the rubric must include rating prompts. If there are fewer than 10 groups in your class for a group assignment, benchmarking will not work.
Instructors choose to benchmark when they want to have a significant ‘say’ in the submission grades of an assignment. Benchmarking allows them to set the curve based on the student work that they grade. It reminds students that the instructor is an essential part of the peer assessment process and gives the instructor a chance to see the work that students are submitting.
Benchmarking is typically used in larger classes where the instructor is not planning on reviewing submissions. In benchmarking, the instructor assigns a percentage grade and does not give comments or ratings according to the rubric. If you are reviewing a majority or all of the submissions (or if you don’t want to do any grading at all), you should use Curved Grading instead.
You can set an assignment for benchmarked grades at any time. If you are setting up the assignment, on the Grading screen, choose Benchmarked. If you want to edit the settings after it has been set up, click on the gear by the assignment name and then Edit. Navigate to the Grading screen, choose Benchmarked, and then click Next until you get to the Finish screen to save the assignment and settings.
The submission grade curve will be determined by the grades that you assign to the 10 benchmarked documents. However, you will still need to set a reviewing grade curve. The curve will apply to the reviewing accuracy and helpfulness grades. In cases where the instructor expects most students will review carefully, the mean may be raised above 85%. This will have no effect on the submission scores since they are being determined by the benchmarking process.
How to benchmark
The benchmarking process starts after the feedback phase is over, and must be done before the assignment will generate results. The assignment dashboard will show that you can now Benchmark submissions in the Assignment Actions timeline. Click Benchmark to get started.
You will see the following message about benchmarking. Read it and click Start.
10 student submissions have been randomly chosen. Assign a grade to each one. You can move to the next or prior submissions at any time. You can also change the grades you assign. The grades for these 10 submissions will determine the grades for the rest of the submissions.
You can view a student submission on the left. On the right, use the arrow keys to set the percentage grade for the submission or type the grade in the gray circle. You can click Rubric to view the rubric and see the guidelines for grading.
When you are done, click Next. At any time you can click Back to go to a previous student’s submission or Next to view another student’s work. You do not need to enter a grade before you move to the next, but you do need to enter grades for all ten of the submissions before the submission grades will be calculated. Any work you enter will be saved. When you are all done, click Finish to save the grades and set the curve for the submission scores.
NOTE: If you need to change a benchmarked grade, you can do that from the Results screen but NOT from the timeline on the assignment overview screen.
Next a grades chart will be displayed. This shows you the submission grade distribution for the 10 assignments that you graded. You can see what the grade distribution would be with the assignment curve (the default is a mean of 85 with a standard deviation of 10) or the curve set by the benchmarked grades.
If you want to edit any of the benchmarked grades, click Edit Benchmark. If you want to use the grades shown, click Finish. The grades for these 10 will inform the submission grade distribution for the whole class.
If you want to switch to curved grades, from the results page, click Overview. Go to the settings icon, click Edit and then switch to Curved grades. Click Finish in the editor to save the new settings; then go to Results and click Recalculate Grades.
After the grades have been calculated, if you want to edit any of the benchmarked grades, you will need to click on Results and then Benchmark Grades in the Controls section.