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Teaching/Learning Center

Collaboration + Group Projects + Critique

An important element of student-centered, more engaged, learning is collaboration. When students interact and work with each other, they take a more active role in the classroom, which increases the potential to deepen and strengthen learning.

  1. The New Power of Collaboration (TED Talk)
  2. Designing and Orchestrating Online Discussions (Baker, 2011)


A rubric defines the performance levels for any graded activity and is essential for formal assessments. Expectations for both students and faculty are better met when evaluation criteria are provided at the time the task is assigned. A rubric will clearly specify your expectations and the student's required effort to achieve the desired score.

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5 Reasons to Use Rubrics (0:01:40)


Otis Website


Avoid a Biased Rubric!!!!

Make sure you design your rubrics so you do not disadvantage students whose ideas, aesthetics, and methodologies are different from your own or the privileged norm. Account for valid subjectivity and personal expression.

Formative Feedback

Optimizing Student Learning with Online Formative Feedback (Educause Review)

"Formative feedback is a way for instructors to check in with their students and give and receive timely, constructive feedback. Think of it as a dialogue that can help everyone involved actively contribute to achieving the learning outcomes."



Signature Assignments

A Signature Assignment is that assignment that best displays the knowledge or skills essential to the objectives of a course. 


The creation of signature assignments is an opportunity for faculty to focus intentionally on learning experiences that are specifically intended to address the learning that occurs in their course. 


At the end of the semester, Academic Departments will collect samples of Signature Assignments from each course to serve as evidence of learning for their program.


Assessment LibGuide

Mid-Semester Feedback

Getting Students Involved

Mid-Semester Feedback is a great way to get a sense of how things are going. It also provides an opportunity to involve students more in the course, which increases intrinsic motivation.


Ask questions that will help you get a read on how things are going and what, if any changes, need to take place:

  • What is working well so far in this class?
  • What can be improved in this class

Ask students about their effort and learning in this class. This reminds them of their accountability, that learning is connected to effort. 

  • How would you describe your effort so far in this course?
  • Are you pleased with your performance so far in this class, why or why not?
  • What can you do to improve your learning in this course?
  • How can I as your instructor support you?

Grading in the Syllabus

It is important to define to students how their grade will be earned. A grade breakdown explains the % value for every category of an assignment. It is also helpful to include a grade scale.



  • Weekly Drawing Assignment = 25%
  • Mid-Term Project = 25%
  • Final Project = 25%
  • Participation = 5%
  • Reflection on Projects = 10%
  • Research on Porjects = 10%

Your grade breakdown should = 100%


Check with your Academic Department for the specific grade scale used. 

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