Integrating Rubrics To Assess Higher Order Thinking Skills
Participants will learn how to design, integrate and utilize rubrics to more effectively assess students’ higher order thinking skills.
Research indicates that students direct their time and attention toward course activities that directly impact their grade. As such, it is essential that learning objectives and grading rubrics are clearly aligned to ensure students focus on the aspects of learning deemed most important. While higher-order learning objectives (i.e., analysis, synthesis, evaluation) are frequently the goal of a learning experience, grading rubrics often tend to focus on lower level learning objectives (i.e., understanding and application) and assignment guidelines (i.e., length, style, format, etc) that are easier to assess. While rubrics provide an efficient means for faculty to improve student learning, facilitate communication with students, and enhance academic quality, the value of a rubric rests on its alignment with the targeted course objectives. Participants will explore various types of rubrics and learn how to design rubrics targeting higher order thinking skills.
- Construct a rubric that identifies learning competencies and differentiates performance levels
- Integrate rubrics as a component of assignment guidelines to provide feedforward information
- Create rubric standards to assess higher order thinking skills
- Differentiate the purpose, utility and value of various types of rubrics
- Explore sample rubrics for assessing papers, videos, discussions, and other applied-learning activities
- Online Learning
- Faculty Development
- Any educator interested in learning more about designing rubrics that target higher-order thinking skills
“Students’ time and attention is focused on what we grade. If we want students to demonstrate higher-order thinking skills, we must focus our grading on these dimensions.”
“If we want to encourage students to think more deeply, it is essential that we articulate what this type of thinking looks like. Creating clear, detailed rubrics that operationalize abstract goals such as “synthesize” or “evaluate” is the first step in motivating higher-order thinking in our students.”
B. Jean Mandernach, Ph.D. is Executive Director of the Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching at Grand Canyon University. Her research focuses on enhancing student learning in the online classroom through innovative instructional and assessment strategies. In addition, she has interests in the development of effective faculty evaluation models, perception of online degrees, and faculty workload considerations. Jean received her B.S. in comprehensive psychology from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, an M.S. in experimental psychology from Western Illinois University and Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
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