Thursday, December 15, 2011

End of Term Rethink

Virtually all of the bloggers I read are hip deep in grading right now, and I'm feeling like a slacker since I don't do exams or final papers that have to be slogged through so that grades can be crunched. I have three papers coming in tomorrow and pretty much know what they are going to  look like, and how that grade will turn out. No big surprises, I think. Hope.

So I've been rethinking my grading rubrics that I use, and reconfiguring them so that I can evaluate student presentations right on my iPad (using PDF Expert) and then send a copy off to the student without having to keep track of all those copies (color coding helps, but there's still an awful lot of paper). And I've noticed that there are common problems that the existing rubric doesn't cover, so I wanted to get those onto the rubrics somehow and redirect students into more useful avenues. Advice sought and welcome!

Parameters:
Has to be saved as an editable PDF, on which I can make handwritten (via a stylus) notes.
Has to be single sided and yet have space for additional comments and notes.
Categories need to be simplified, clarified and permit nuanced additions/considerations.
Has to match both course learning objectives AND departmental/gen ed requirements for assessment data collection.
Has to be mailable directly from the iPad via the campus email system so that I automatically get a copy of the graded rubric.

Existing rubric has 8 categories, each with 5 gradations (0-4 points). Categories: Objective, Strategy: Audience, Organization/Structure, Evidence,  Delivery:Oral, Delivery: Visual, Delivery: Non-Verbal, Q&A.

I've never been happy with my articulation of the Strategy/Audience category, so am eliminating that. My new categories (10 in all) are Objective, Organization, Evidence, Historical Context, Oral Delivery, Visual Delivery, Presenters focus on audience and responsive to same, Presentation focused on art as illustrative of objective (and no lower level learning), Q&A and Student (audience) Engagement. I've gone through and tried very hard to be very clear about articulating the differing levels of achievement in each category. All of the explanation is going on a long version of the rubric, and will be handed out and posted on line for all classes/students. They'll get the short version (with just the titles of the categories) emailed directly after their presentations, and can then, at their leisure, go back and see what each category/grade means in terms of clarifying problem/strength areas.

Across the bottom of the page, there is a 2 row table of auto-deductions, problems that don't seem to find a sufficient home in any of the other categories: lower level learning, analysis only, verbal fillers, unprepared for presentation (this usually means that they have not loaded their presentation onto the computer and eat up valuable class time trying to get it to load), text heavy slides, reading from slides or notes, and running over time. I'm considering adding an additional penalty for insufficient focus on art (a very common problem) or no focus on art (ditto). For most, that isn't an issue. For those who throw up a perfectly usable piece of art and then use it as wallpaper as they wander off into something barely related, this might encourage them to stay on task. Or I could simply weight the appropriate category more heavily. Can't decide. Advice sought and welcome!

Next up is to revise the other rubrics: writing and creative projects. Not to mention all the reading and prep that needs doing before January...

Or if you have a better PDF thing. iAnnotate doesn't work for what I want...

1 comment:

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