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Assessing Student Work

Grading student work and providing constructive feedback is a crucial element of teaching. Students are entitled to clear and helpful evaluation of their work so they know how to improve in the future. It is important to have shared understanding about what grades mean; explaining the grade within the context of the learning goals of the course provides students valuable information they need.

Providing truly useful information can be a time-consuming task, but one that cannot be shortchanged. Good planning during the development of an assignment can help with the grading later on.

If you would like more information on developing assignments and assessing student work, check out the schedule of workshops and seminars at the Center.

These Internet sites provide further information about evaluating student work:

  • This module from the University of Southern California provides some guidelines to consider when developing assignments that will make grading easier.
  • This handout from Terry Beck and Bill Cerbin's presentation at the UWL Conference on Teaching and Learning, August 28, 2007, provides some excellent information about grading and developing rubrics. It contains links to other sites, references to key books about evaluating student work, as well examples of rubrics that have been used in their classes.
  • Rubrics and Adult Learners: Andragogy and Assessment by Fred C. Bolton, Assessment Update, May 2006.
  • Rubistar is a website that provides many examples of rubrics, plus provides templates for developing your own rubrics.
  • Teach-nology has many examples of rubrics for many, many subject areas, including oral presentations, class participation, math, and more!
  • The Office of Assessment and Research at Winona State University has assembled a massive collection of rubrics for nearly every subject matter. Browse and enjoy!
  • The Technology Application Center at the University of North Texas has a nice webpage with many links to sites dedicated to student evaluation.

Recommended Book from the Center:

Stevens, D. D., & Levi, A. J. (2005). Introduction to Rubrics: An Assessment Tool to Save Grading Time, Convey Effective Feedback and Promote Student Learning . Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing. (Fontbonne University Library; LB 3063 .S74 2005). Exactly what the title says! This is an introductory book, but Appendices F-H are especially helpful because they deal with content that can be especially difficult to assess.