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SPECS grading in a Discussion rubric

Question asked by Ronald Ruiz on Dec 20, 2017
Latest reply on Jul 30, 2018 by Kevin Doyle

Hello,

 

I am writing again for assistance with the gradebook. I will be implementing SPECS grading for the first time in my January 2018 online Psychology classes. I just came across an issue with grading rubrics in Discussion post assignments.

 

SPECS grading refers to grading all assignments in a course on a Pass/Fail basis. There are no “points” or “percentages” that are directly relevant to the student, when calculating whether (s)he passed or failed either an assignment or the course in general.

 

My Discussion Post assignments involve students submitting both an Original Post and a Response Post. Original Posts are the student’s own submission that addresses particular assignment questions. Response Posts are a reply that a student must make to another student’s Original post (i.e., addressing issues raised by the latter’s submission). Successful completing of each Discussion Post assignments involves meeting all criteria established for both the Original and Response post portions of the task.

 

I wish to utilize a Discussion Post grading rubric so that I can be quite specific in alerting students as to why they either passed or failed an assignment. Preferably, the rubric would look as follows:

 

Original Post

PASS

Full Credit: The Post contained a minimum of 15 sentences, with a minimum of 4 words per each of the 15 sentences, and addressed ALL questions contained within the assignment. Additionally, each of the 15 sentences were numbered. Finally, the student provided more than the 15-sentence minimum if they included quotes in their Post.

 

FAIL

No Credit: At least some of the sentences in the Post were not numbered.

 

FAIL

No Credit: The student did not address all questions in the Discussion Post assignment

 

FAIL

No Credit: The student did not provide extra sentences over the 15-sentence minimum to account for including quotes.

 

FAIL

No Credit: The student plagiarized parts of their Post

 

FAIL

No Credit: There were less than 15 sentences in the Original Post.

 

FAIL

No Credit: There were less than 4 words provided in at least one of the 15 sentences.

 

Pass or Fail

Response Post

PASS

Full Credit: The Response post addressed issues raised by another student's Original post. The Response post contains a minimum of 15 sentences, with a minimum of 4 words per sentence. Additionally, each of the 15 sentences were numbered. Finally, the student provided more than the 15-sentence minimum if they included quotes in their post.

 

FAIL

No Credit: At least some of the sentences in the Post were not numbered.

 

FAIL

No Credit: The Response post did not address issues raised by another student's Original post.

 

FAIL

No Credit: The student did not provide extra sentences over the 15-sentence minimum to account for including quotes.

FAIL

No Credit: The student plagiarized parts of their Post

 

FAIL

No Credit:

There were less than 15 sentences in the Response Post.

FAIL

No Credit

There were less than 4 words provided in at least one of the 15 sentences.

Pass or Fail

 

However, the Canvas gradebook apparently requires I make use of points associated with each criteria within the rubric. My current rubric ( a work in progress) looks something like this:

 

Original Post

5 pts

Full Credit: The Post contained a minimum of 15 sentences, with a minimum of 4 words per each of the 15 sentences, and addressed ALL questions contained within the assignment. Additionally, each of the 15 sentences were numbered. Finally, the student provided more than the 15-sentence minimum if they included quotes in their Post.

 

3 pts

No Credit: At least some of the sentences in the Post were not numbered.

 

2.5 pts

No Credit: The student did not address all questions in the Discussion Post assignment

 

2 pts

No Credit: The student did not provide extra sentences over the 15-sentence minimum to account for including quotes.

 

1.5 pts

No Credit: The student plagiarized parts of their Post

 

1 pts

No Credit: There were less than 15 sentences in the Original Post.

 

0.5 pts

No Credit: There were less than 4 words provided in at least one of the 15 sentences.

 

5 Points

Response Post

5 pts

Full Credit: The Response post addressed issues raised by another student's Original post. The Response post contains a minimum of 15 sentences, with a minimum of 4 words per sentence. Additionally, each of the 15 sentences were numbered. Finally, the student provided more than the 15-sentence minimum if they included quotes in their post.

 

 

3 pts

No Credit: At least some of the sentences in the Post were not numbered.

 

2.5 pts

No Credit: The Response post did not address issues raised by another student's Original post.

 

2 pts

No Credit: The student did not provide extra sentences over the 15-sentence minimum to account for including quotes.

1.5 pts

No Credit: The student plagiarized parts of their Post

 

1 pts

No Credit:

There were less than 15 sentences in the Response Post.

0.5 pts

No Credit

There were less than 4 words provided in at least one of the 15 sentences.

5 Points

TOTAL

=10 pts

 

I cannot substitute “0 pts” for all six of the “No Credit” options in this rubric, because choosing just one of these criteria when grading will by default automatically select ALL “0 pts” options simultaneously (leaving the student confused as to which criteria they were specifically marked down for). Additionally, using a grading rubric with point designations like the one above would be unfortunate, as it (a) does not mention whether a student either passed or failed the assignment, and (b) by including points, it can confuse the student into believing that some criteria are “weighed’ more than others…something that I wish to avoid at all costs. Instead, I wish to convey to the student that the specific reason they “Failed” either the Original or Response post portion of an assignment (and hence, failed the Discussion Post assignment in its entirety), is just as important as all other reasons mentioned in the rubric.

 

Any suggestions on how to deal with this dilemma are welcome.

Thanks!

Ron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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