View Full Version : Teaching Karate/Self Defense at a college

23rd January 2008, 14:33
Hello, all.

I've been teaching karate/self defense at the local community college for a 1 credit course. I don't have a problem teaching and the students have always been fun and respectful. I have 1 issue, however, that's been bugging me even though it hasn't come into play. The issue is grading.

I've been teaching and doing belt gradings for my senei's dojo for years but the pass/fail issue is and always has been the result of mine and the other sensei's opinions of the students' performances.
My issue is that teaching at the college is a different animal, really. I have to give performance based grades (A,B,C,D,F) for each student based on other things such as attendance, class participation and what I feel their improvement/ability ratio is but it's still mostly opinion based and if a student ever came back and appealed the grade I wouldn't have much to stand on except in maybe attendance (since I keep records of that).

I guess, basically what I'm asking is, does anyone have prior experience in this situation and maybe have some sort of Rubric (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubric_%28academic%29) prepared for just such a situation or maybe have some "hard line" goals that you think a student must reach in order to attain a given mark or a point when points start coming off of one's grade?

Like I said, I haven't had an issue.....yet....but I'm trying be ahead of the game on this.


23rd January 2008, 16:02
Your rubric could be the local standards for grading at tournaments. The methodology has already been worked out. You will never escape the subjective nature of your assessment.

To prove your score was reliable, a video of each grading might be necessary.

23rd January 2008, 16:26
That's not a bad idea. I'll have to check to see if there's any info available on the web re: standards. I'm not a tourny person myself so I'm not quite sure who I would contact in those regards. I will try my Shihan first.

Re: recording. I'm not sure if the school would allow such a thing. I can ask but the administration is very "quirky" relative to "privacy" issues. This might fall into that category.

edit: thanks for your input :)

Bob Blackburn
23rd January 2008, 17:29
Have them do a short paper. Then you can base 50% of the grade on the paper and the other half on effort.

23rd January 2008, 18:15
Have them do a short paper. Then you can base 50% of the grade on the paper and the other half on effort.

Unfortunately, I can't really do that. There is an established course description for the class made out by the college that does not require written papers. I used to hold them accountable for vocab and such but was told that it wasn't in the course desc. :nono: :cry:

Bob Blackburn
23rd January 2008, 20:44
Try kata judging. Have the students grade the others on their kata. The can learn by watching others. Turn in cards and you have some backup for your grades.

Knowing kata: 1-5 points
Stances: 1-5 points
techniques 1-5 points
overall: 1-5 points

23rd January 2008, 22:45
Have you discussed this with other Physical Education Teachers at the college? I remember that the PE classes were gradable when I was at school, but I'm not sure how they did that either.

I'd probably start with breaking down the course syllabus into different sections and then add a ABCD chart of competency and clearly explain what was acceptable for each grade. This can range from physical skills acquired to attitude. This should then be communicated to students up front.

We run a Women’s Self Defence course, which is basically a collection of techniques out of our Syllabus. At the completion, they get a certificate but not a belt. If they wish to continue with the art, that can attend classes at a Dojo. They would then have already been taught 2/3rds of the Yellow Belt requirements.

- Jeroen Kueter