Showing posts from July, 2015

Thinking about One Point Rubrics, Standards, and Dimensions

Yesterday (July 30), the UWP's first-year writing teachers got together and discussed the curriculum and changes to our new stretch program (TWRT 120 and 121). Autumn quarter will be the first quarter of the new stretch and stretch plus options for first-year students, which you can learn more about on our Web site. Because the courses are new, we got together to discuss them. We had an engaging set of discussions that ranged a number of topics, from our priorities around our program goals to activities we intend to scaffold our classes around.

But our most interesting discussions, for me, were around grading. The new TWRT 120 course is a pass/fail course that uses a grading contract to determine course grades (CR or NC). I won't discuss contracts here, but save that for another day. During our conversation, one of our teachers, Caitlin Carle, offered us a nice blog post she found on what the post author, Jennifer Gonzalez, calls a "single point rubric." The article i…

Can Specifications Grading Be Used for Writing?

Recently, I read Linda B. Nilson'sSpecializations Grading: Restoring Rigor, Motivating Students, and Saving Faculty Time (2015). It is pitched to a broad set of university courses and faculty, and not directly about assessing or grading writing or writing courses; however, she does use several examples of assessing writing, and she includes writing courses in the larger purposes she has for the book. I don't intend this post to be a full review of the book, but because the book does speak directly to faculty who wish to improve the way they teach and evaluate writing in their courses, I wish to offer a limited response to the book, and an encouragement to go get the book and read it, despite a few reservations I have about some things in it.

Some Things Worth Looking Thinking About
There are several valuable things any writing teacher (or teacher who assigns and must assess writing in her courses) can take from this book. The first is her convincing argument in chapter 1 against…