Assessment Strategies


Dan Libertz on the Labor of Commenting: Management Strategies
Dan offers methods and mindsets for approaching comments on student work to maximize dialogue and impact and minimize excessive drains on faculty time.

Seth Graves on Models for Assessing Student Writing
This piece reviews the ways in which we construct and strategize assessment, from course-wide grading expectations to assignment rubrics. Assessment is an essential but sometimes-overlooked aspect of pedagogy, where students and faculty communicate about the learning and labor expectations for the course.

Lisa Blankenship on Responding to and Assessing Student Writing (PDF)
Handout with sample assignments, goals, rubrics and peer review handouts.

Lisa Blankenship on Time-Saving Grading Strategies
Handout with recommendations for grading practices, resources, and a sample assignment with rubric.

Sample Rubrics and Other Assessment Materials

Daniel Hengel’s Rubric for Rhetorical Analysis and Research Essays
This rubric provides a criteria-based and numerical assessment model that focuses on the efficacy of the student’s essay (by categories of thesis/claim, argument, evidence, organization, and style/editing) while taking into account the ways in which that product is a good writing process.

Kate Eickmeyer’s 60% Process/ 40% Product Rubric for Researched Argument Essay
This assessment sample lays out a writing assessment strategy for a particular assignment that both rewards students for participating in the writing process throughout their development of the work, as well as articulates expectations for the product.

Popular External Resources

Peter Elbow with Jane Danielewicz, “A Unilateral Grading Contract to Improve Learning and Teaching” (2008) (PDF)
A seminal work in contemporary writing studies, Elbow (one of the field’s founders) and Danielwicz describe a method of grading that concentrates on incentivizing the writing process and diminishes quality-based assessments solely of product.

Nancy Sommers, Responding to Student Writing (PDF)
Sommers’ work offers detailed insight on communicating with students about their writing. It presents​ comments as a defining space to teach critical thinking and writing skills in a way that meets each student where they are, and includes a robust set of strategies.

WAC Clearinghouse: How Can I Handle Responding to Student Writing?
A well-researched webpage on strategies to comment on student writing on a variety of assignments for a variety of disciplines. Subjects include: where to focus your energy, using rubrics, how to prioritize comments, and sample grading sheets.

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