Renata Schaefer Ph.D.

Visiting Professor
Department of Business Administration

Rubric Project – Write Up

I have introduced Rubric project to my BUS 391 class “Cross Cultural Communication & Negotiation”. In this course we were discussing some elements and dimensions that can be helpful for successful business interaction with people from different cultures. I have designed rubrics as a term group project: “Looking at chosen countries from cross-cultural perspective”.

My experience is that Rubrics were extremely useful and helpful as an educational tool. I was able to introduce different categories and dimensions and give students clear criteria, which characteristics constitute 3 level of cross cultural competencies: Beginner, Advanced, Fluent.

I have had no experience with Rubric prior to my visiting professor position at Sonoma State, so I was curious what kind of benefits it can bring to me and to students.

I have found this instrument extremely supportive in the process of giving instructions to the students which elements are expected in regard to the content and how they are going to be graded. During Fall Semester 2014 I realized that students misunderstood my instructions regarding closing presentations and “both parties” were frustrated. Thanks to Rubrics in Spring Semester 2015 I was able to design the structure in more clear and easy to follow way. It helped me to verbalize my expectations and gave students better guidelines, how to best prepare and which elements to include and they did a very good job. I will definitely recommend using this tool in the future.

Some reflection about students’ survey:

Looking at the results of students survey what struck me was the fact that 100% of participating students (12 students from my BUS 391 course) expressed the opinion that “Yes, I believe more professors should use rubrics”. In regard to the question: “How helpful was the rubric in guiding the organization of your work?” In the scale 1(not very helpful) – 5 (very helpful) all of participating students have answered very helpful – (9 indicated very helpful on ‘5’ level, 3 on ‘4’ level).

In regard to the question: “Did you use the rubric to revise your work before submitting it to your professor?” All of the participating students answered: “Yes, I used the rubric to edit my work before submission”.

Looking at the answers from the survey and also remembering the positive students’ reaction in the classroom, when I introduced the project using rubrics I can express strong believe that they welcome this instrument as a very supportive and beneficial tool for the adequate preparation and in consequence better grades. Based on that I will use it again in my next classes. I also would like to thank Faculty Development Center for offering this great project and Ms. Noelia Franzen for many valuable insights and guidelines and for infinite patience.