Christine Renaudin

Annotated Bibliography Rubric Project

The project impacted my teaching in two ways. It made me spend considerably more time than I usually would discussing the assignment and making sure students understood what was required of them. It seems that the amount of details, and the precise terms of the requirements were, at first, a source of what the students call confusion, and what seems to me to be a difficulty accepting such a degree of detail, in other words resistance to the specificity and complexity of the requirements description. It will, in the future, influence the way I integrate this discussion into the course, perhaps in smaller bites, and/or by referring to the rubric often, making sure students keep it in their notebook and get into the habit of referring to it. In general, I believe that the rubric lent more precision all around, about my expectations for the students, as well as their approach to the tasks required of them (for those of them who minded the rubric).

I did not have to learn any special technology for this project. I did, however, spent a substantial amount of time researching rubrics and trying to come up with the best tool for my students. After an initial moment of resistance to the tedious deciphering of the rubric, most students reacted very well to the tool, especially when we spent time illustrating the terms of the requirements by examples based on their semester project ideas. The data shows that, if a majority had already used a rubric in other classes, only a couple had done so frequently. All surveyed students found the rubric helpful to very helpful clarifying the terms of the assignment, guiding them in the organization of their work, and determining the strengths and weaknesses of their work. Although still deemed helpful, the rubric was felt slightly less so when trying to understand the grades received. That said, all students reported having used the rubric to revise their work before submitting it, and they all believe more professors should use rubrics.

I believe the rubric was helpful all around, for me to clarify my expectations, and for the students to learn how to follow specific directions and articulate clear and specific responses to clear yet complex requests. Clarity begets clarity.I recommend offering the project again particularly to faculty not familiar with the use of rubrics in their courses. It is a useful tool for both students and professors. It certainly made the grading easier.

I did, during the course of this semester, designed a much more complex rubric for the semester projects, attempting to measure creativity, articulation, and collaboration and process. However, I was not able to gather data about this rubric in the time frame provided since the students just now received their grades.