discussion board rubrics March 5

Rubrics for Online Discussions

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A well-designed rubric is an effective tool for communicating expectations, streamlining the grading process, minimizing grade challenges, and establishing performance benchmarks.

In "Seven Ways to Facilitate Effective Online Discussions," Brian Udermann discussed some of the benefits of using rubrics to help keep instructors and students on the same page.

“Share your rubric with students so they know what to expect and how they will be graded,” said Udermann, director of online education at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. “And if you do give a student a two out of five or a one out of five, be specific in your feedback. ‘Here’s the reason you got the score that you did.’ It’s kind of an eye-opener for them and usually gets their attention.”

Here are two examples of rubrics Udermann shared during his program.

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online courses February 2, 2017

Rubric Options for an Online Class

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Athletes are often “graded out” by their coaches after a game, and they always know ahead of time the exact criteria that will be used to grade them. An offensive lineman knows that he will be graded on the number…...

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screencasting feedback December 1, 2016

Managing Feedback

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Sample APA Style feedback bank comment: A new guideline of the 6th edition of APA style is the inclusion of DOI (digital object identifier) information with each entry in your reference list for which DOI information is available. The DOI…...

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Male student on laptop December 1, 2016

Grading Rubrics for Online Discussions

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Use analytic grading rubrics for online discussions. Analytic grading rubrics have two major components: levels of performance and a set of criteria. Levels of performance can include terms such as exemplary, proficient, basic, or below expectations or can include numbers. Points can be attached to the levels of performance and distributed based on the total number of points allowed for a post in the discussion forum.

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online student typing November 30, 2016

Exam Rubric

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A: Addresses each question and all its parts thoroughly; incorporates relevant course content into responses; uses specific information from case in response.

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three students with writing assignment October 1, 2015

Provide ‘Feedforward’ with Exemplars

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There is growing interest in the pedagogical literature in something called feedforward. It is, as the name implies, the opposite of feedback, which provides input after the fact. Feedforward offers input focused on the future. It lets students know what they should be doing or could be doing differently next time. If it’s a similar assignment, the “do differently” is specific advice on changes that will improve the next assignment. If it’s a different assignment, the “do differently” identifies what’s not the same about the next assignment and what needs to be done in a different way.



online student typing July 24, 2015

Three Tools for Supporting Student Success

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One of the three key tenets of metacognitive engagement in the classroom is teaching students heuristic strategies specific to the subject matter (Pintrich, 2002; Bembenutty, 2009). The other two are teaching students when to use the strategies and how to self-assess the successful use of those strategies. When considering critical thinking classes, this might involve teaching specific problem solving strategies, like the difference between permutations and combinations, as well as when each should be applied. However, other types of strategies could be beneficial, such as templates for assignments, video instructions, and detailed rubrics for self-assessment.


April 1, 2013

Assessment as an Opportunity for Developing Independent Thinking Skills in Students

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The liberal arts college where I teach recently underwent review for accreditation. Like many other colleges and universities, we were criticized for our lack of assessment. Faculty resistance, it seems, may be the biggest barrier to implementing institutional assessment measures (Katz, 2010; Weimer, 2013). Both Weimer and Katz accredited faculty resistance to fears that assessment data could be used for “comparison shopping” and “educational consumerism.” While these fears are justified, at my college another fear prevails; the fear that assessment will lead to hand-holding strategies that will discourage independent thought in our students and result in failure to adequately prepare them for professional life.