focus on different models and approaches to grading

Learning Resources

Focus On: In this week’s Learning Resources, focus on different models and approaches to grading; methods for establishing grading criteria and standards; and ways of streamlining the grading process, including the implementation of tools such as rubrics.

Required Readings

Course Text: Effective Grading: A Tool for Learning and Assessment in College

Chapter 4, “Establishing Criteria and Standards for Grading”

Chapter 7, “Making Grading More Time Efficient”

Chapter 8, “Calculating Course Grades”

Book Excerpt: 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.

Chapter 6, “Grading with Rubrics”

Copyright 2005 Stylus Publishing LLC. Used with permission from Stylus Publishing LLC via the Copyright Clearance Center.

Document: Speech Presentation Rubric (Word document)

Use this sample rubric to prepare for this week’s Discussion.

Required Media

Video: Laureate Education (Producer). (2011). Two student presentations [Video file]. Retrieved from


Note:  The approximate length of this media piece is 6 minutes.


These media segments represent presentations that students might make in a course on speech communication. Before viewing the presentations, read the Week 3 Discussion prompt and questions, and familiarize yourself with the Speech Presentation Rubric provided above. You will use the rubric to evaluate the two presentations and respond to the Discussion prompt.


Accessible player

Optional Resources

Article: Docan, T. N. (2006). Positive and negative incentives in the classroom: An analysis of grading systems and student motivation. Journal of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 6(2), 21–40. Retrieved from

Article: Potts, G. (2010). A simple alternative to grading. The Journal of the Virginia Community Colleges, 15(1), 29–42. Retrieved from

Discussion: Using Rubrics

EDUC 6757 provided an introduction to rubrics and an opportunity to create a rubric for a learning plan. In this course, you will explore strategies for using rubrics to evaluate student work. The chapter by Stevens and Levi (2005) provides an overview of key things to consider when using rubrics for grading. These are useful ideas whether you are implementing a rubric you have developed yourself or one that your department or institution has developed for specific courses or learning outcomes.

The practice of using common rubrics is becoming more prevalent in higher education. Faculty in many disciplines are collaborating to create rubrics that can be used across courses that enroll large numbers of students—introductory English and math courses, for example, or introductory courses in popular majors. Even with a common rubric, however, faculty can differ greatly in how they interpret and apply it. Norming is a useful exercise in which faculty apply a rubric to the same samples of student work and compare and discuss their results. Not only can this help everyone apply the rubric more consistently, it can be a valuable opportunity for the faculty to share ideas about how to use the rubric to improve student learning.

For the next 4 weeks, the Discussions will ask you will take on the role of a faculty member in a Department of Speech Communication. Your department has established a common rubric for evaluating student presentations in introductory speech communication courses. This week, you will engage in a norming activity using this rubric.

Two of your colleagues have provided media segments of student presentations from their speech classes to use for the norming activity. Download the Speech Presentation Rubric provided in the Learning Resources, view the student presentations media segment, and use the rubric to evaluate the two presentations.

By Day 3

Post a summary of how you evaluated the two presentations.

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