Just as you need a reasonable number of assignments to gauge your students' grasp of the material, they also need to know just what you are looking for when they hand in a graded assignment. Students will perform better if they know what is expected of them. Two ways to help students fulfill all assignment requirements now and in the future is to provide rubrics and feedback.
In addition to providing a practical number of assignment opportunities, students need timely and constructive feedback regarding the quality of their submissions. Evaluation not only lets them know how they performed, but shapes the improvement of future projects.
The feedback you provide extends the learning process by adding your insight to their submissions, reinforcing key concepts, and encouraging further analysis. Recognize exceptional submissions. Use them as a standard for quality or correcting misconceptions to benefit all students. Carefully consider which type of feedback to include in public discussions and which you should deliver through private email.
As you begin to shift to more project-based assessments, you need an easy way to evaluate these types of activities. You may find it helpful to use a rubric to evaluate student work.
A rubric is a scoring tool that lists levels of quality and point values for each performance criteria. They give students a detailed evaluation with informative feedback, and not just a score. Rubrics enable you to evaluate more consistently and help students know what you expect. When you provide students with the standard for performance, they can focus on the task. Students can help create rubrics, as well as use them for more effective peer assessment.
Consider the assignments you use in your courses. Can rubrics help in grading these assignments? To learn more, see Rubrics.
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