Improve your assessment 'ROI':

Pair action-oriented feedback with guided follow-up

FEEDBACK[karlhorton/1903050006 is originally from The UTNE Reader (1986) & posted in Flickr CC BY-SA-2.0]

A. Description

When students ask for more information about how they'll be graded, do you cringe? Are you putting many hours into marking and providing feedback without a lot of payoff in terms of improved student performance? If you're thinking 'yes', I invite you to attend this hands-on workshop. By the end you'll be able to transform your feedback from comments that are read (or not!) into information that leads to action. First, we'll take a look at how to craft more effective rubrics so they clarify your expectations, tell students how they're doing, and suggest next steps. However, if telling and showing were enough to foster excellence and expertise, every student would leave every course a scholar. The problem is that between where they 'are' and where they 'need to be' lies a learning gap known as the ‘zone of proximal development’ ( Many students just don't know how to turn what they read, hear, or see demonstrated into improved outcomes. Step 2 will be to pair your now 'actionable' feedback with guided follow-up -- i.e. short in-class injections of small group practice in your presence. The goal here is for you to get many more students across the ZPD without either using up huge amounts of class time or adding more out-of-class hours to your work week.
During this session participants, through both individual and group activities, will:

  1. differentiate between rubrics which students will find less or more helpful.
  2. collaborate on a Google Doc to build a rubric which will provide action-oriented feedback for an authentic task.
  3. experience the benefits of the ‘practice in your presence’ approach.
  4. share potential uses of 'practice in your presence' to improve student performance.
  5. see what learning looks like in the brain.

B. Conference Proceedings Paper (from AAU 2013)

C. Resources

To view the resources --
  • To advance the slider --> 'mouse over'/tap the far right or left of the widget for the arrows.
  • To see one resource or the full collection --> click the picture to see that specific resource; click the widget heading to see the full collection.
  • If not displaying properly -->

To search the collection --These resources are NOT organized by importance/value but appear in the order in which I found them.
  • All entries have been tagged.
  • To see the 'subjects', click the "Find" tab (upper left).
  • Tags for this workshop include:

Assessment ROI tags med.png

D. Presentation Slides -- in 2 parts because the file islarge
(Part 1)

(Part 2)

E. HandoutsThere are several 'packages' of sample rubrics from which I will be drawing. These can all be downloaded.

F. Rubric Cubed: Interactive Grading Rubric, Rich Feedback Generator
[Note: this tool is provided for reference only.]

Very few rubric tools offer the ability to provide personalized feedback. Rubric Cubed was designed for that purpose. I originally found it on Penn State's John A. Dutton e-Education Institute (the learning design unit of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences) webpage, but only a cached version remains at --> I have tried without success to contact the original author, but some time ago was given permission to use it in a presentation, so in case the cached version also disappears, I have copied and pasted all the relevant material below .
Because you can customize the criteria and rating system for the project, task, or class, and send comments to each student, this tool permits you to provide highly personal feedback. In smaller classes, it would probably be most useful either with a project that lasts several weeks (with recurrent feedback) or with a task that students will repeat several times in a course. In a large class, you might use this tool to build a rubric with the students (clone your screen so they can see what is going in). If you have some items that are non-negotiable, you can prefill them and explain why. You might have students use it to give peers feedback on presentations or other tasks or assignments or use it yourself to give formative feedback on a group project.

Instructions for customizing your rubric

Begin by saving the file RubricBuilderV2.xhtml to your computer. [This is Version 2, you can also get Version 1.]
To save: (1) a Windows computer, right-click on that link; (2) on a Mac, ctrl-click OR right-click>>Download Linked File.
  • Open the saved file - When it opens you will see the Rubric Development Tool
  • Click on any field to change the text
  • Use the "Show Feedback" button on each row to see, and then edit, the feedback
  • Change some settings by clicking the "Worksheet Options" button.
  • Add rows or columns, and rearrange rows, moving them up or down
  • Specify "groups" using the pull-down numbers in the right margin, and the feedback will be presented in the order of these groups.
  • Save the file to store your new rubric - If you want to have multiple rubrics, do a "Save as..." and give your rubric a unique file name (like "final_project_rubric.xhtml").
You'll find that the tool is very flexible, yet easy to use!
Want to see how it is done? Watch Jonathan's narrated **rubric** movie.

Instructions for using your rubric to provide feedback

When you have the content of your rubric the way you want it, click the "Create Worksheet" button and a new window will open with a version that is ready for conducting an assessment.
  1. Type in a student name and ID (if that option has been checked)
  2. Click on the ratings you wish to assign to the student's work
  3. When you have finished, click the "Finalize Worksheet" button, and the assessment tool turns into a student report, with the rubric displayed at the top and narrative feedback gathered beneath it
  4. To save the report, for distribution to the student, pull down the file menu to "Save Page As..." and make sure that the Format pull down menu is set to "Web Page, complete," then give it a name and save it
  5. When the recipient wants to view it, they can open the feedback in any browser (thus far, this has been tested with Safari, Firefox, and Explorer - all on the Mac platform).