Augustana Center for Teaching and Learning
In Effective Grading: A Tool for Learning and Assessment, Barbara Walvoord and Virginia Johnson Anderson introduce Primary Analysis Traits (PTA's) as a label for scoring rubrics used to assess student work. They believe strongly that the use of PTA's makes grading more consistent and fair, saves time with the grading process, helps to diagnose student strengths and weaknesses very specifically, and can be used to track changes in student performance over the term.
Designing PTA's at the beginning of your course organization helps to better relate your learning goals and how you wish to measure them. Setting a rubric up begins by deciding on components you wish to measure related to the learning goals for the course. An example given in the text is a “statistical investigation with components of identifying the problem, developing a hypothesis, obtaining a random sample, measuring variables, analyzing data and presenting conclusions.” (Walvoord/Anderson, pg. 221) Once the components have been defined, the instructor assigns grades or points to levels of learning within the rubric. Walvoord and Anderson's book is filled with excellent grading rubric examples across many disciplines supported by thorough discussions for each.
How can faculty at Augustana learn more about grading rubrics and share successful rubrics with others? We plan to create an archive of grading rubrics on the ACTL Moodle site and will soon be soliciting these from the faculty. These rubrics will be categorized on the Moodle site as a reference for all faculty. In addition, the resource “Effective Grading: A Tool for Learning and Assessment,” by Barbara Walvoord and Virginia Johnson Anderson, Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco, 1998, can be found in the Teaching and Learning section of the Tredway Library.
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