Writing Assignment and Rubric Design

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					Writing Assignment and
Rubric Design

   ORU Boxed Luncheon
     Workshop Series
     October 7, 2003
Workshop Topics
 Types of Writing Assignments
 Designing Assignments
 Creating Rubrics
Types of Writing Assignments
 Informal writing-to-learn assignments
    Short (in class or out of class)
    Not necessarily graded
    Used to facilitate discussion, focus a class,
     provide immediate feedback, assess progress,
     begin a longer writing project
 Formal writing assignments
    Longer
    Graded
    Used to assess major concept acquisition
Informal Writing-to-Learn
Assignments
 Microtheme
 Response to scenario
 One-minute paper
 Class minutes
 Concept summary
 “Muddiest point” mini-essay
 Reading/double entry journal
 Invented dialogues and letters
Formal Writing Assignments
 Research paper
 Analysis
 Critique
 Annotated bibliography
 Review
 Formal argument
 Editorial
Assignment Design and Assessment
 Good assignment design is a prerequisite for
  effective assessment
 Assessment tool follows from assignment
  design
 Rubrics can be created directly from
  assignment design process
Designing Effective Assignments*
 Assignment is explained in writing
 Assignment guidelines specify:
        the assignment’s purpose
        the assignment’s audience
        the mode of development
        the assignment’s required length
        the assignment’s due date
        style and formatting requirements
*Adapted from University of Maryland University College, “Guiding Questions for
Developing Assignments,” www.umuc.edu/ugp/ewp/questions.html and University of Kansas
Center for Teaching Excellence, “Assignment Design,”
www.ku.edu/~cte/resources/writing/assignment_design.html
Designing Effective Assignments*
 Writing assignment is clearly linked to
  significant course objectives
 Assessment criteria are specified (rubric)
 Assignment is organized and assessed in
  stages
 Assignments vary during the semester to
  reflect different levels of thinking and ability
  (Bloom’s taxonomy)
*Adapted from University of Maryland University College, “Guiding Questions for
Developing Assignments,” www.umuc.edu/ugp/ewp/questions.html and University of Kansas
Center for Teaching Excellence, “Assignment Design,”
www.ku.edu/~cte/resources/writing/assignment_design.html
  Bloom’s Taxonomy*
Bloom's Ranking of Thinking Skills

Knowledge      Comprehension        Application     Analysis        Synthesis     Evaluation


List           Summarize            Solve           Analyze         Design        Evaluate
Name           Explain              Illustrate      Organize        Hypothesize   Choose
Identify       Interpret            Calculate       Deduce          Support       Estimate
Show           Describe             Use             Contrast        Schematize    Judge
Define         Compare              Interpret       Compare         Write         Defend
Recognize      Paraphrase           Relate          Distinguish     Report        Criticize
Recall         Differentiate        Manipulate      Discuss         Justify
State          Demonstrate          Apply           Plan
Visualize      Classify             Modify          Devise




*Adapted from University of Maryland University College, “Guiding Questions for
Developing Assignments,” www.umuc.edu/ugp/ewp/questions.html
Guiding Questions for Developing
Assignments*
 What course objectives do I hope to advance by the
    writing assignment?
   How does this assignment fit into the overall plan for
    the semester?
   What learning or critical thinking do I expect students
    to do? (Bloom’s taxonomy)
   What form should the writing take?
   How can the project be segmented to allow feedback
    or additional instruction?
   How am I going to assess the process and the final
    product?
Guiding Questions for Developing
Assignments*
 What elements of the rhetorical situation should be
  reflected in the assignment?
 How will I introduce this assignment to students?
 Does this assignment require pre-teaching of course
  concepts, technical vocabulary, research or writing
  skills?
 Does it require special resources and/or instructions
  about where to find resources?

*Adapted from University of Maryland University College, “Guiding Questions for
Developing Assignments,” www.umuc.edu/ugp/ewp/questions.html and University of Kansas
Center for Teaching Excellence, “Assignment Design,” www.ku.edu/~cte/resources/writing/
assignment_design.html
Using the Rhetorical Elements to
Assist in Designing Assignments
 Applies to assignments or individual
  questions
 Identifies exactly what the instructor would
  like the student to accomplish
 Allows for flexibility among levels of required
  student knowledge (Freshman – Senior)
 Builds the essential components of a rubric
  that can be used for evaluation
 Original Student Assignment

 Give directions for setting up a croup tent.*




     *Proprietary material. Please do not use without specific permission.
     Rebecca E. Burnett / Iowa State University / 515-233-4506 / rburnett@iastate.edu
Rhetorical Elements
Establish or prompt attention to these elements:
 Describe context/occasion and role
 Provide sufficient and accurate content
 Identify purpose(s)
 Define and address audience(s)
 Select and organize key point(s) and
  argument(s)
 Incorporate visuals
 Consider overall design
   Proprietary material. Please do not use without specific permission.
   Rebecca E. Burnett / Iowa State University / 515-233-4506 / rburnett@iastate.edu
Revised Student Assignment
 As a communication intern in a hospital’s pediatric unit, part
  of your job is to help parents increase their involvement in
  their child’s medical care. Write step-by-step directions with
  appropriate headings that will enable parents to set up a
  croup tent. Make sure to give reasons for using the croup
  tent as well as specifics of setting it up. Include appropriate
  definitions and illustrations as well as hints to make the set
  up easier. Consider the advantages of explaining why
  parental involvement is good (in other words, why don’t the
  medical personnel do everything?). Decide whether the
  information should be in a brochure or a one-page direction
  sheet.*

    *Proprietary material. Please do not use without specific permission.
    Rebecca E. Burnett / Iowa State University / 515-233-4506 / rburnett@iastate.edu
Analysis of Assignment
 Describe context/occasion and role: location: pediatric hospital unit;
  role: communication intern
 Define and address audience: parents of children with respiratory
  problems
 Identify purpose: broad: increase parents’ involvement in their child’s
  medical care; specific: direct parents to set up a croup tent
 Select content: reasons for using croup tent; rationale for parental
  involvement; specifics of set up; hints to make set up easier;
  appropriate definitions
 Organize information: chronological (“step-by-step”)
 Incorporate visuals: appropriate illustrations
 Consider overall design: headings; brochure; one-page sheet
     Proprietary material. Please do not use without specific permission.
     Rebecca E. Burnett / Iowa State University / 515-233-4506 / rburnett@iastate.edu
Some Rhetorical Elements
Specified by the Instructor
 You’re assigned as a communication intern in
  a hospital’s pediatric unit to document
  procedures for student nurses working on
  their pediatric rotation. Give directions for a
  pair of student nurses to set up a croup tent.




   Proprietary material. Please do not use without specific permission.
   Rebecca E. Burnett / Iowa State University / 515-233-4506 / rburnett@iastate.edu
Analysis of Assignment
 Describe context/occasion and role: location : hospital
  pediatric unit; role: communication intern
 Define and address audience: student nurses on their
  pediatric rotation
 Identify purpose: broad: must be specified by student;
  specific: direct student to set up a croup tent
 Select content: must be specified by student
 Organize information: must be specified by student
 Incorporate visuals: must be specified by student
 Consider overall design: must be specified by student
    Proprietary material. Please do not use without specific permission.
    Rebecca E. Burnett / Iowa State University / 515-233-4506 / rburnett@iastate.edu
Can You Identify the Elements?
 Observe the sample assignment labeled
  “Microtheme: Fallacies and Validity.”
 Try to identify the rhetorical elements in this
  assignment.
Identifying Rhetorical Elements
 Describe context/occasion and role: location : local
  magazine company; role: editor
 Define and address audience: executive editor/boss
 Identify purpose: broad: evaluate submissions for accuracy
  & validity; specific: identify fallacies and analyze arguments
 Select content: must be specified by student
 Organize information: must be specified by student
 Consider overall design: a microtheme to the executive
  editor; details must be specified by student
Microtheme Rubric
 Rubric follows directly from microtheme
  assignment
 Rubric presented in writing
 Assessment criteria presented with the
  assignment
English 305 First Day Informal
Writing-to-learn Activity
 Designed to facilitate class discussion
 Short, in-class writing (approx. 10 minutes)
 Non-graded (no rubric)
 Linked to course goal regarding the liberal
  arts and liberal arts education
 Assignment purpose explained in class
 Rhetorical elements included in the “scenario”
Identifying Rhetorical Elements
 Describe context/occasion and role: context and role: graduation,
  candidate coming before independent review committee
 Define and address audience: independent review committee
 Identify purpose: broad: to demonstrate changes as a result of
  education; specific: to prepare a response for the committee
 Select content: specific evidence of “transformed life”
 Organize information: student determines most persuasive
  method
 Incorporate visuals: none
 Consider overall design: specific evidence must be persuasive
305 Student Responses
 DiAnne Watson
     Senior Health and Exercise Science major
 Joseph Nosak
     Senior Business major
Types of Rubrics
 Holistic rubrics (microtheme example)
 Analytical rubrics
 Matrix rubrics
    Principles of Rubric Design*
     Word choice
             provides for consistency of interpretation
             promotes purposeful dialogue between
              instructor and student
     Visual appeal
             creates a “map” of what the student must
              attempt to achieve
             placement of elements conveys their
              significance
*Adapted from “Rubric Design Principles Guide” http://edservices.aea7.k12.ia.us/
framework/rubrics/theguide.html
    Principles of Rubric Design*
     Student’s Role
             defines an active role for the student
             active role increases motivation
     Correctives
             design facilitates dialogue beyond what is
              wrong to what is right and how to improve
              what is wrong
     Purpose
             rubric implies benefits/purpose of assignment
*Adapted from “Rubric Design Principles Guide” http://edservices.aea7.k12.ia.us/
framework/rubrics/theguide.html
Rubric Design Resources
 RubiStar
     http://rubistar.4teachers.org/index.php
 Rubric Design Principles Guide
     http://edservices.aea7.k12.ia.us/framework/
      rubrics/theguide.html

				
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