I have taught some SBG courses in the past, and I am planning on converting all of my courses to SBG. I have enjoyed teaching these courses, I believe that students have learned more, and students also seem to enjoy the courses more (judging from comments and student evaluation scores).

One issue I have is keeping the number of standards down when I am designing a course. I am designing a discrete math course now, and I have 16 standards just for the logic portion! I still need standards on sets, relations and functions, combinatorics, and graph theory. If I end up with ~15 standards for each of these, I will be looking at a total of ~75 standards, which seems kind of silly.

Does anyone have resources on SBG design principles which could help me?

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    $\begingroup$ There is a Google Drive folder where some SBG folks have shared materials for their courses, including lists of standards. Check it out here: drive.google.com/drive/u/1/folders/… There's a subfolder for Materials by Course, and there's a Discrete Math folder in there. I know this doesn't answer your general question, but I hope it's still helpful. $\endgroup$ Jul 15, 2021 at 16:36
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    $\begingroup$ Lots of standards for SBG isn't too bad, provided the standards are very simple, you provide them to students in chunks as opposed to all at once, and you're very careful about how you calibrate grades. $\endgroup$
    – TomKern
    Jul 15, 2021 at 22:53

1 Answer 1


I don't have any specific resources, but here's what I did recently to convert my Business Calc class to SBG: Go back over a whole semester's batch of quizzes and exams and on each question ask yourself what skill/concept you were trying to assess. Doing this I ended up with about 33 standards (I say "about" because 21 of them come in 3 different "flavors" depending on the type of info they're given, e.g. formulas, graphs, or tables.) It helped that I had multiple but synonymous versions of each quiz/exam. It allowed me to see the broader idea rather than the specific calculation.

Of course, this can also lead to a realization that some of the things one might have asked on quizzes/exams in the past are maybe not as important as you thought. That's a beneficial part of SBG.

I used a similar technique last summer when transferring my Discrete Math class to SBG, too. In that case I ended up with 32 standards. So IMHO I think the 30-35 range is what's optimal.

  • $\begingroup$ I would be curious to see your standards for Discrete! $\endgroup$ Jul 15, 2021 at 19:51
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    $\begingroup$ @StevenGubkin I sent an email to your *.edu account. Hope that was okay. $\endgroup$
    – Aeryk
    Jul 16, 2021 at 13:11
  • $\begingroup$ Perfectly fine! Thanks! $\endgroup$ Jul 16, 2021 at 13:51

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