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Building Effective Analytic Rubrics

Do you feel frustrated when assignments are submitted that are lacking important criteria? Do you have several people grading and want to maintain consistency and fairness? Are you wishing to provide more feedback to students, to help them improve their skills? Answers to these questions can be targeted by building effective analytic rubrics.  In a recent webinar, I shared how to build effective analytic rubrics, including what they are and why you should use them. Understanding the what, why, and how will help you to determine where to start when creating effective rubrics for your course. Let's begin! What is a rubric? A rubric is “...a document that articulates the expectations for an assignment by listing the criteria or what counts, and describing levels of quality from excellent to poor" ( Reddy and Andrade, 2010 ). Typically comprised of rows and columns, where the rows are used to define the various criteria being used to assess an assignment. And the columns are used
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What Does it Mean to Design for Scale?

It’s no secret that enrollment numbers are increasing, whether due to a global pandemic or more run-of-the-mill economic changes, workforce needs and demands, or personal and professional enrichment goals. Scaling increases access to high-quality education for a wide swath of learners who may never have even considered it an option, regardless of their socioeconomic status (a hallmark of ASU’s charter). Designing, developing, and delivering courses at scale often necessitates reimagining teaching and learning of a particular topic. This series of articles from  ASU’s Teach Online introduces various aspects of scalable design by focusing on reducing/eliminating costs; accessibility and inclusivity; how learners achieve and demonstrate subject-matter mastery; and a team-oriented approach to see things through from conception to completion. The links below will help you get started: What Does it Mean to Design for Scale? A “No-cost Course” Means New Solutions for Accessible, High-quality

The Art and Science of Course Announcements

When it comes to online course design and facilitation, course announcements are often treated as a “nice to have” supplement to instruction, taking a backseat to things like the syllabus, module overviews, and learning pages. Those pages contain valuable information, but announcements offer an opportunity to share content while making personalized connections. However, students often overlook pages that do not appear to contain value to them, including announcements. There's an art and science to crafting valuable announcements that students will want to view. Planning, organization, and frequency play a role in leveraging announcements to be more than unappealing check-ins that students ignore. Here are some effective ways to use announcements to weave student success and a culture of learning into the narrative of your course. Increase Your Presence One of the most common criticisms of online education is the lack of instructor presence. Particularly in large-scale courses, stud

How Christians May Feel Stigmatized in the Biology Community

Although Christians are overrepresented in American society, they are underrepresented in biology careers. What is the reason for this under-representation? Prior research has indicated that Christians feel as though they don’t belong in biology , that some biology instructors make Christians feel as though they have to choose between their faith and biology, and many people incorrectly assume that one has to be an atheist to accept evolution . When biology faculty members were asked whether they would take on a graduate student who was an evangelical Christian, they were less likely to want to hire this person than someone who did not reveal an evangelical Christian identity. These studies indicate that the Christian identity may be stigmatized in the context of academic biology. Because Christianity is an identity that can be hidden or invisible, it could be considered a concealable stigmatized identity (CSI) in the biology community. Concealable Identities Concealable stigmati

Students’ Knowledge of Finding and Securing Research Positions: How Can We Make Undergraduate Research Experiences Accessible?

Many STEM students are seeking the opportunity to conduct undergraduate research at some point in their academic career due to its many benefits. However, finding and securing a research position can be challenging, and may be more difficult for some students than others. In a recent publication in the International Journal of STEM Education, researchers interviewed undergraduates who were involved in undergraduate research and students who were not involved but interested in participating in research in order to compare their knowledge on finding and securing research positions at a research-intensive institution ( Cooper et al., 2021 ). How can students find research? Students who were interviewed said that they found research opportunities by talking with instructors, academic advisors, peers, or teaching assistants or by using online university resources. The study found that there were no differences between students who did research and students who wanted to do research in the