Standard III.2: The grading policy is transparent and easy to understand.

  1. Review the clarity of way you present your grading system to the students. List all the activities that will be graded and make sure they align with the objectives. Then look to see if points or grades awarded all total to your final grading system. A rubric can be very helpful in doing this type of alignment.
  2. Your grading policy should list a grading scale/table (e.g. 90-100% = A, 80-89 = B, etc.).
  3. You grading policy should also include a list of all possible points in the course (e.g. 2 exams x 100 points = 200 points, etc.).
  4. In addition to these it is helpful to include a statement or rubric regarding how the student is expected to achieve a certain grade or number of points.
  5. Having such policies spelled out in your syllabus provides transparency into your class policies. Not only will this help your students know what to do to achieve success in your course but will allow you to easily justify grades given to students.

Sample Discussion Evaluation Rubric

Discussion Participation Rubric
5 4 3 2 1 0
INTERACTION Actively supports, engages and listens to peers (on-going) Actively supports, engages and listens to peers (on most occasions) Makes a sincere effort to interact with peers (on-going) Limited interaction with peers Virtually no interaction with peers No interaction with peers
PREPAREDNESS Arrives fully prepared at every session Arrives fully prepared at almost every session Arrives mostly, if not fully, prepared (on-going) Preparation is inconsistent Rarely prepared Never prepared
PARTICIPATION Plays an active role in discussions (on-going) Plays an active role in discussions (on most occasions) Participates constructively in discussions (on-going) When prepared, participates constructively in discussions Rarely participates Never participates
COMPREHENSION Comments advance the level and depth of the dialogue (consistently) Comments occasionally advance the level and depth of the dialogue Makes relevant comments based on the assigned material (on-going) When prepared, makes relevant comments based on the assigned material Demonstrates a noticeable lack of interest in the material (on occasion) Demonstrates a noticeable lack of interest in the material (on-going)
GROUP DYNAMIC Group dynamic and level of discussion are consistently better because of the student’s presence Group dynamic and level of discussion are often better because of the student’s presence Group dynamic and level of discussion are occasionally better (never worse) because of the student’s presence Group dynamic and level of discussion are not affected by the student’s presence Group dynamic and level of discussion are harmed by the student’s presence Group dynamic and level of discussion are significantly harmed by the student’s presence

Sample Paper Grading Rubric

Paper Evaluation Rubric (worth 100 points)
(note: not satisfying one of the items stated in the point ranges may result in your paper being assigned a lower score in that range)
90 to 100 points Excellent to Outstanding paper
  • Has an in-depth coverage of topics
  • Few or no grammatical or spelling errors
  • Turned in on time
  • Complete and properly formatted bibliography
  • Appropriate use of footnotes
  • Conclusion related to hypothesis and any deviation from hypothesis is discussed in detail
80 to 89 points Good to Excellent paper
  • Covers required topics, but may have other issues
  • Limited number of grammatical or spelling errors
  • Turned in on time
  • Limited issues with bibliography
  • Limited issues with footnotes
  • Conclusion related to hypothesis, but may be incomplete
70 to 79 points Below Average to Good paper
  • Limited coverage of topics and/or problems prevalent in other sections of the paper
  • May or may not have been turned in on time
  • Issues with bibliography
  • Issues with footnotes
  • Incomplete conclusion or research did not completely test or explore the hypothesis
60 to 69 points Poor to Below Average paper
  • Incomplete coverage of topics and problems prevalent throughout paper
  • Paper not turned in on time
  • Issues with bibliography or bibliography not provided
  • Issues with footnotes, or lack of footnotes altogether
  • Hypothesis not properly tested and/or not related to conclusions
up to 59 points Frequent occurrence and/or combination of issues outlined above