Tag Archive | grading rubric

Thoughts on Teaching – A New Grading Idea? – 6/3/19

I have had a new idea for grading running through my head the last week or so, and I want to get some feedback on it. One of the struggles with our current department writing project is that it is hard to get the students to take the feedback from one set of assignments and use it to correct the next set. As an example, let’s take a Works Cited. I can make all sorts of comments on the first draft of it that they submit, give them screencast videos on how to do a Works Cited, point them to the Purdue OWL for help on it, recommend they go to our Writing Center, and yet they still turn in something at the end that does not really fit what we are looking for on a Works Cited.

So, the idea that has been running through my head (using the example of a Works Cited) is this:

  • A draft Works Cited is due at a certain point in the semester. That draft counts for 50 points of a 100-point grade. It will be grade on a scale of 1-50 with a grading rubric and written comments on it.
  • Then, when the final paper is due, it will have a (theoretically) corrected Works Cited on it that will be worth the other 50 points of the 100-point grade. It will be evaluated by the same grading rubric.
  • The 100-point grade is a sum of the two different grades.
    • So, if they did poorly on the first one and corrected the errors, they could have a much better grade at the end. (30+50=80)
    • If they don’t care, the can turn in one with all of the same problems, and I will know not to have to look at it very closely. This saves grading time for me and lets them know what they will get if they don’t bother to work on fixing it or even learning it in the first place. (30+30=60)
    • If they do well on the first one and make small improvements on the second, they know they will have a good grade (45+50=95)

What does everyone think of that idea? Would it work? Is it too complicated? Has anyone tried something like this? Is there an alternative that would work better?

By the way, here is what my grading rubric looked like last semester for a Works Cited. It was worth 60 points at that point, but it would be easy to adjust this to 50 points.

Standard Poor Fair Good Excellent
Formatting by MLA standards Little effort is made to format the Works Cited in MLA format.

(5 points)

Three to four of the Excellent standard elements are not done.

(9 points)

One to two of the Excellent standard elements are not done.

(12 points)

Title of page is Works Cited, which is centered. Citations are in alphabetical order. Entries are double spaced and indented correctly. Font and size are consistent through the page.

(15 points)

Sources Cited Little effort is made to cite the sources provided for the assignment.

(5 points)

Fewer than eight sources appear on the Works Cited.

(9 points)

Eight sources total appear in the Works Cited. All eight of the provided sources are cited.

(12 points)

Ten sources total appear in the Works Cited. All eight of the provided sources are cited. The textbook and one sample lecture are cited.

(15 points)

General Elements of Citation by MLA formatting Little effort is made to use MLA standards in citing the sources.

(9 points)

Many errors in meeting MLA standards but effort is shown in attempting to reach MLA standards for citation.

(13 points)

Most sources and or/most parts of the citation are completed correctly by MLA standards.

(16 points)

All parts of the citation (author, title, publisher, webpage, etc.) are included correctly for all sources by MLA standards.

(20 points)

Correct citation of Online and Physical Sources Little effort is made to distinguish online from physical sources.

(4 points)

Online and/or physical sources missing most of the information that shows what type of source they are.

(6 points)

Online and/or physical sources missing some of the information that shows what type of source they are.

(8 points)

Online and physical sources are correctly identified with the correct information to show which is which. Date accessed and website link provided for online sources.

(10 points)

 

Thoughts on Teaching – Open Forums – 7/20/2013

I tried something new this summer.  I have always had fairly formulaic discussion forums in my class.  Something along the lines of — here is a paper topic;  write the paper;  discuss the ideas of the paper in this discussion forum;  repeat several times a semester.  That was always a very discouraging discussion format for me, as this narrowly bounded topic selection led to very unoriginal submissions and dull reading on my part.  The students largely repeated what they had written about, and, since most had written fairly similar things, the results were basically the same.  And then, when I had the requirement that they had to respond to each other as well, then they largely just said they agreed with each other over and over, because, honestly, what else were they going to do.  They had all written essentially the same thing over essentially the same topic.  What else could they possibly do.

So, this summer, I tried something new.  I introduced open forums.  Instead of tying the discussion forums to a specific topic or to a specific assignment, I had them as open discussions for the students.  Here are the instructions I gave them:

The purpose of this discussion forum is for further discussion on the course material.  One of the consistent pieces of feedback I have gotten back over the years is that there is not really a place to discuss what is being read and accessed throughout the course.  This forum is intended to correct that.  As well, I am trying something new with this forum, as I have not been happy with more focused forums in the past, as they generally are uninteresting and everyone says close to the same thing.  I do not know if this one will be any better, but I am trying to branch out to a new idea here.

For this forum, I am asking you to discuss the material that you are working with in class.  For Unit 1, that includes Chapters 11-, the lectures Topics 1-8, Critical Mission 1, and any other material relevant to the course.  As this is an open-ended forum, I am really not going to say much more than that.  Here are some examples of things you could post about:

  • I was reading the textbook/lecture, and this was something I did not know anything about/I found interesting.
  • In the lecture/textbook, it says _____.  I don’t understand what this means.  I think it means this, but I’m not sure.  What do you think it means?
  • As we looked at this event in history, it reminded me of something going on today.
  • I found this piece of history really interesting.  Where might I find more information on it?
  • How do we know that this piece of history we are studying is correct/true?  What information is it based on?  What might we not know?

Those are just some ideas, and you can go beyond that at will.  I will be trying to actively participate in the forums, but I will not respond to things immediately, as I prefer for you to answer and respond to each other rather than just having me respond.  I find that my responses in discussion forums almost always end the discussion, and so I will be posting only occasionally.

I think it went pretty well overall. I wanted to try it in a summer session first, as the student base is smaller, and the expectations are different.  Most of them would not have had me before or probably even heard much about my class, so they could approach it as a brand new assignment.  As well, in the summer, I can have an assignment like this and work with it more, as I have more time in a summer session to dive into the material myself as well.  I was pleased with the results from those who participated, although there were a pretty decent number of people who did not participate.  The topics posted were quite varied, and it did go in many different directions.  I am not going to kid anyone and say they were all wonderful, as the majority were about what you would expect out of undergraduate students — fairly simple and short in form.  However, they were a vast improvement over what I had before.

I also had to grade this forum in some way, and I posted up a grading rubric for the students.  As I can’t get the formatting to work out correctly, the rubric will be the last thing in the post here.  It was interesting to see how it went based on the grading.  One of the things to note is that I did have a specific number of posts the students were required to make, and this is where most people, even those who participated well, did not meet my expectations.  I’m not sure if I set the number too high, but I thought it was fairly reasonable.  Still, I would love some feedback from anyone who is teaching or from anyone who might look at this from a student’s perspective.

The other thing to say about the open forum at this point is that I found it nice from my perspective.  I could go in and comment and explain on what I found interesting.  As well, if I came across an interesting article or podcast somewhere, it made for a very convenient place to post that for student consideration.  Overall, I was pleased.

Has anyone else used something like this?  Have you taken a class that included this?  What do you think of my instructions and rubric?  What would you change or improve?

Grading rubric for Discussion Forum

Standard Not Done Poor Average Good Excellent
Timeliness

(25 points)

Does not participate in the discussion at all.

(0 points)

The student participates poorly in the discussion, participating less than 6 times during the discussion.

(10 points)

The student waits until the last minute to post, having all posts in the last days of the discussion.

(15 points)

The student posts throughout the discussion as well as early in the discussion.  The student participates at least 2 times early in the discussion and a total of at least 6 times throughout the discussion.

(20 points)

The student posts frequently throughout the discussion, with posts at the beginning, middle and end parts of the discussion. The student posts at least 8 times.

(25 points)

Posting

(25 points)

Does not contribute to existing discussions.

(0 points)

The student only posts his or her own ideas without interacting with other students.

(10 points)

The student only replies to other students and does not make any original posts of their own.

(15 points)

The student contributes his or her original posts and relevant follow-up questions to posts by other students. The follow up questions are timely and do not slow the discussion.

(20 points)

The student posts original content and follow-up questions that are timely and highly relevant to the discussion and spark further conversation. The student has asked questions that others have not considered.

(25 points)

Content Quality

(25 points)

Does not make any references to the content of the discussion from the video, lectures, or textbook.

(0 points)

 

The student shows little engagement with the content of the course.

(10 points)

The student posts content that is related to the discussion.

(15 points)

The student posts content that is related to the discussion and uses specific historical references from the material to support their ideas.

(20 points)

The student posts highly relevant content and helps keep the discussion engaging and educational using the material from the course.

(25 points)

Clarity

(25 points)

Posts are incoherent, distracting, and/or in very poor form.

(0 points)

 

Posts are simple in nature and largely just agree with what others say.

(10 points)

Posts show some awareness of the ongoing discussion and attempt to engage.  Some grammatical errors.

(15 points)

The student contributes in a thoughtful way. The student has used grammar correctly and expresses opinions without denigrating others.

(20 points)

The student has used language that expresses thoughts and opinions clearly and respectfully. The text is clear and concise and free from major grammatical mistakes.

(25 points)