Grading & Assessment
As with teaching, assessment is a form of deep and engaged two-way communication. With well-designed assessments, faculty can learn more about how students are progressing in courses (as well as how teaching methods are being received), and can provide one of the most important channels of communication between faculty and students about students’ progress, and their development as scholars. If these assessments are well-designed, teaching will be improved and students will also have a clear and accurate guide that will help them grow intellectually.
The below are some critical resources that you may be able to use to design and improve your assessment and grading methods.
Yale-NUS Reports and Resources
Yale-NUS Assessment and Grading Report
The Yale-NUS College Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is delighted to see the release of Yale-NUS Assessment and Grading Report. The document, produced as of 25 Sept 2015, reflects many hours of thoughtful discussion and hard work among the Yale-NUS community. The Report lays out the basic principles of designing effective assignments, communicating clearly to students the goals of a course and of their work, and learning about students’ learning performance efficiently from their assignments.
Based on the findings of the report, the Centre has worked on Grading and Assessment, a sourcebook intended to serve as living document that embodies the culture of teaching and assessment at Yale-NUS College. Hard copies of this booklet may be obtained from the Centre.
Policies and Guidelines from Other Universities
This is a great online resource that runs you through the nuances and steps of grading and gathering student feedback. The tip sheet series is particularly helpful in providing quick, incisive strategies at your fingertips.
Assigning Course Grades
From University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning
This online resource provides a comprehensive and detailed discussion of various issues associated with grading and assessment. In each case, alternative viewpoints are described and advantages and disadvantages noted. Topics include Capricious Grading, Grading in Multi-Sectioned Courses, Grading Comparisons, Grading Guidelines, Course Grading Schemes, Grading vs. Evaluation, Evaluating Grading Policies, and What Not to Base Course Grades On.
How to Assess Students’ Learning and Performance
From Carnegie Mellon University’s Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation
This resource provides suggestions and strategies for assessing student learning and performance as well as ways to clarify your expectations and performance criteria to students. This website is especially useful for concrete examples of different assessment methods. Topics include Creating assignments, Creating exams, Using classroom assessment techniques, Using concept maps, Using concept tests, Assessing group work and Creating and using rubrics.
Other Policies and Guidelines
Tips and Ideas
Reading Student Essays
Grading can be challenging, but reading through student essays might be even more daunting. After all the time and effort put in, you really want your students to be able to benefit from them. The articles below provide useful tips and strategies for giving effective responses to student papers and an idea of what papers of different grades look like.
- Harvard Writing Project Brief Guide Series: A Brief Guide to Responding to Student Writing.
- Hyde, L., Grading Papers (S. Lonoff, Ed.)
Peer and Self-assessment
Although grades are primarily assigned by you, the course instructor; sometimes, there are merits to having students go through either their own or each other’s papers, as a complementary exercise to your grading . This might promote critical self-reflection as well as allowing them insight into what a reader or marker is looking for. Below are some self and peer assessment sheets for your perusal.
- Dubnoff, J., Self-Assessment (Short).
- Dubnoff, J., Self-Assessment (Long).
Journal Papers on Grading & Assessment
The following are recommended journal articles that provide insight into various assessment methods, the impact they have on students, and how they influence teaching.
Books on Grading & Assessment
The following books are readily available in the Yale-NUS library as a resource for faculty seeking expert knowledge on grading and assessment.
|Walvoord, Barbara E.||Assessment Clear and Simple: A Practical Guide to Institutions, Departments, and General Education||Jossey-Bass||9780470541197|
|Walvoord, Barbara E.; Anderson, Virginia Johnson||Effective Grading: A Tool for Learning and Assessment in College – Second Edition||Jossey-Bass||9780470502150|
|Middaugh , Michael F.||Planning and Assessment in Higher Education: Demonstrating Institutional Effectiveness||Jossey-Bass||9780470400906|
|Davis, Barbara Gross||Tools for Teaching, Second Edition(Chapters 32-33)||Jossey-Bass||9780787965679|
|Nilson, Linda B.||Specifications Grading: Restoring Rigor, Motivating Students and Saving Faculty Time||Stylus Publishing||9781620362426|
|Ory, John C.; Ryan, Katherine E.||Tips for Improving Testing and Grading||SAGE Publications||9780803949744|
( “Yale-NUS Assessment and Grading Report” contributed by Bryan Penprase, CTL Director. “Tips and Ideas” prepared by Lian Hai Guang, past Dean’s Fellow. Page edited by Joanna Lee, current Dean’s Fellow.)