Invest in Your Learning
Investment in Learning (IIL) is an important addition to the grade book. It is important to assess behavior that cannot be measured through typical grades. IIL is specific and intentional, and its benefits are far stronger than its few detriments.
ILL measures six features: initiative, respect, self-reflection, engagement, preparation, and punctuality. While at first, this seems like a somewhat subjective list of indicators to monitor, the administration does provide a very specific table detailing how each of these criteria can be met at the 4 levels of IIL. Teachers refer to this table and give their students a score between one and four. Through this, ILL translates abstract concepts into concrete criteria and then into a numerical value that can be entered into the gradebook. IIL was created with the intent of reliability to ensure that the measuring standard is the same for each class, teacher, and student.
Second of all, ILL can be a very helpful score booster for people who may struggle in other aspects of the class. IIL serves to quantify a part of the classroom experience that has traditionally not been measured through classroom and grade performance. For instance, a student can be extremely self-reflective or respectful while still not having a stellar academic grade, and IIL can help to balance the behavioral and academic facets of the student’s classroom experiences/contributions.
As only 10% of the score, IIL works in a way such that it can help boost a score if needed, but it also will not necessarily hurt a score. For example, if a person has a 79% in their class and a 100% in IIL, their grade will go up to a B-. However, if someone is averaging 89% in everything but 60% in IIL, the person’s grade will only drop approximately three points. While it seems that IIL can have a more detrimental impact on one’s grade than a benefit, it is important to look at the qualifications for receiving a good ILL score. Since the criteria are specific, clear, and objective, the negative possible impacts are not significant in comparison to the positive effects.
Additionally, by incentivizing students to work towards achieving specific goals, IIL can help students be more academically successful. IIL’s goals are specific, laid out, and helpful not just in school now, but even for further on in life. Students can use IIL to see where they need to focus more of their effort to not just become a better student but to become a better person.
IIL can translate into real-life skills. IIL is important because it can act as a grade booster. It offers students who do not excel as well academically to reveal the parts of themselves that are not visible with quiz or test grades. The IIL grade now primes students to learn these necessary skills for when they will no longer have the external push to do so. So, the next time a student thinks about taking a nap during class or playing a game on the computer, they should know that everything they do has an impact.