Friday, November 5, 2010

November 5, 2010

Good Afternoon Instructors,

With mid-quarter upon us, I thought this would be a great opportunity to bring up the benefits of Grading Rubrics. Grading Rubrics are an excellent tool to help increase grading consistency and student-to-student fairness, and is a solid mechanism to hurdle over the grading inflation obstacle we are often faced with. By clearly and directly breaking down the point system for assignments, exams, and even discussion boards, you as the instructor are sharing with your students what the assignment/exam/discussion board expectations are, and you then have a set criteria to base your evaluation of off. This allows you and your students to be on the same page.

When grading student work, you want to not only use the grading rubric as a guide, but also reference it in the feedback for students directly. Rather than offer feedback and then give a general score of 41/50, for example, I encourage you to use the grading rubric categories to offer specific reference to where the student earned points directly.

For example, the 41/50 reference above may actually be reflective of:
  • Essay Development: 9/10;
  • Articulation of Course Content Comprehension: 12/15;
  • Effective and Appropriate Application of Course Content: 11/15; and
  • Grammar/Mechanics: 9/10
By sharing this information directly with students, in addition to specific written feedback for each section, students then know more directly the areas they did well in and the areas they need to work on and why. They also then have the original grading rubric which will be much more detailed in the break-down of expectations for each category that offers the student even more insight into the score they earned.

If you've never created a grading rubric, please do not be intimidated, the following are some great online Grading Rubric creation sites that offer you templates and guide you through the process, making it really easy:
If you have any questions on grading rubrics or how to use them in your classes, please let me know. And if you already have or create a rubric that works really well for a particular assignment, please let us know, it may be something to add to the master course shell for all sections to benefit from.

Have a great weekend!

Heather Thomton-Stockman
Online Instructional Specialist

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