Another burning question....Rubric across curiculum

Another burning question....Rubric across curiculum

by Tara Vanderveer -
Number of replies: 4

I have been thinking about modifying and the AAC&U Value rubrics to assess things (say writing) across all years of a program. So every year, the learners are assessed with the same rubric so they know what the expectations are throughout the program. Thinking of maybe assigning different weights to different sections as the learners progress. For example, in year 1, more weight on mechanics and in year 4 more weight on original thought/critical thinking.

Has anyone done something like this? Come across any resources that supports this?

Looking forward to your responses!


In reply to Tara Vanderveer

Re: Another burning question....Rubric across curiculum

by Daniella Sieukaran -

Hi Tara, I'm currently thinking of using a rubric to assess research skills across 4 years. I haven't thought it through completely yet (early stages!), but I am thinking that instead of assigning different weights, I would change the descriptors tied to the levels of achievement. For example, let's say critical thinking is 10% of the assignment grade. I'd keep it as 10% across all four years, but have different expectations of what critical thinking looks like for first year vs. fourth year.

In reply to Tara Vanderveer

Re: Another burning question....Rubric across curiculum

by Sue Hellman -

Hi Tara,

It could also be interesting to try to get everyone in a department to agree to use the same rubric. After all, what constitures good writing in a discipline shouldn't be that different from teacher to teacher or course to course. It would be interesting for students to know they're being held to the same standard of writing quality across all classes. 

This paper might be of interest. It examines the combining of rubrics with scaffolding of written assignments over a 4 year program. The rubrics are not attached but can be requested. Since the study is recent, the contact information should still be current.

In reply to Sue Hellman

Re: Another burning question....Rubric across curiculum

by Mark Wilson -

Hi Sue

As a returning adult student who recently completed an Associate's degree in Sociology, the paper you've provided is interesting on many levels. Having the same basic skills rubrics across an institution would benefit everyone immensely. Especially in the areas where I've found my courses lacking, digital fluency and intercultural communication. These gaps are as true for administration and faculty as they are for students.

Having spent several years in the "Community College Trap", and as a student representative on many shared governance committees, I have to chuckle at getting "everyone in a department to agree to use the same rubric." It sure would be helpful to students but I doubt I'll live long enough to ever have that experience. ;-)

Best Regards


In reply to Tara Vanderveer

Rubric across curiculum

by Sylvia Riessner -

It makes logical sense to find a way to restructure the criteria so they reflect a developing level of understanding and application of a skill or understanding? But how to assess the relative weight of that skill/understanding across a program?

I used to faciltate DACUM analysis workshops for groups trying to define the important skills and knowledge within job-defined topics - that was a herculean task but worthwhile as it contributed to a much deeper understanding and appreciation of the range of skills and knowledge required to perform effectively in a job AND the need to assess emerging, developing levels of ability as each person developed experience and expertise.

Could you involve instructors in your program is outlining your "rubric" and then teasing out what they would expect to see as students come to them from earlier courses in the program?

We used a series of booklets by Ruth Stiehl and Les Lewchuk while I was at the College - they had one on Assessments that many of us found worthwhile - time-consuming of course.

Good luck!