August 23, 2002


8:30 - Meet and greet

9:00 - Orientation to FIRST II

10:00 - Sharing teaching/learning strategies

11:30 - Video - preconceptions and dealing with them

12:00 - Lunch; plan next meeting & communication

1:00 - Review FIRST II notebook contents

2:00 - Planning (What are we doing this semester & what support do we need?)

4:30 - FIRST baseline survey & refreshments

6:00 or 6:30 - Go to pizza place for dinner and to continue discussion/evaluation

Done by 8:00



Using Scoring Rubrics

from Susan Harris, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
Conference on Assessment - March 6,1998.

What is a rubric?

A rubric is a scoring guide that provides criteria to describe various levels of student performance.

What are the advantages of using a rubric to score student work?

The use of rubrics

What are the problems with using rubrics? Developing new or novel rubrics tends to be hard, time-consuming work.

What steps are involved in developing a rubric?

In A Practical Guide to Alternative Assessment, Herman et al. (1992) suggest the following process for developing a scoring rubric:

Herman, J.L., P.R. Aschbacher & L. Winters (1992) A practical guide to alternative assessment. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Alexandria, VA.

Scoring Rubric for In-Class Activities: Three Levels of Achievement

Kathy Williams, Biology, SDSU, 2001

Exemplary (6 pts) no question that author understands material in question
General Approach. Response addresses the question and states a relevant, fully correct answer; presents arguments in a logical order; uses correct style and grammar (no errors). Comprehension. Response demonstrates a clear and complete understanding of the question; backs answer with scientific information and justification; uses 2 or more ideas, examples and/or arguments that support the answer.
Adequate (4 pts) author may generally comprehend material, but complete understanding is not evident from the response
General Approach. Response does not address the question explicitly, although does so indirectly; states a somewhat relevant and justifiable answer; presents arguments in a logical order; uses adequate style and grammar (1-2 errors).

Comprehension. Response demonstrates only minimal understanding of question because it does not back conclusions with scientific information and justification; uses only one idea to support the answer; less thorough than above.
Needs Improvement (2 pt) author knows some words or facts, but response does not illustrate understanding of the concept in question
General Approach. Response is not relevant to question; but is on topic; indicates misconceptions; is not clearly or logically organized; fails to use acceptable style and grammar (two or more errors).

Comprehension. Response does not demonstrate adequate understanding of material. Response does not provide evidence to support answer to the question.

No Answer (0 pts)


>>> Not all of these criteria will apply to all questions.<<<

Scoring Rubric for Essay Questions

BIO 226 - Ecology - D. Ebert-May, NAU, 1999.


Level of Achievement General Presentation Reasoning, Argumentation
Exemplary (10 pts) • Addresses the question
• States a relevant argument
• Presents arguments in a logical order
• Uses acceptable style and grammar (no errors)
• Demonstrates an accurate and complete understanding of the question
• Uses several arguments and backs arguments with examples, data that support the conclusion
Quality (8 pts) • Combination of above traits, but less consistently represented (1-2 errors) • Same as above but less thorough, still accurate
• Uses only one argument and example that supports conclusion
Adequate (6 pts) • Does not address the question explicitly, though does so tangentially
• States a somewhat relevant argument
• Presents some arguments in a logical order
• Uses adequate style and grammar (more than 2 errors)
• Demonstrates minimal understanding of question, still accurate
• Uses a small subset of possible ideas for support of the argument.
Needs improvement (4 pts) • Does not address the question
• States no relevant arguments
• Is not clearly or logically organized
• Fails to use acceptable style and grammar

• Does not demonstrate understanding of the question, inaccurate
• Does not provide evidence to support response to the question

No Answer (0 pts)    


Scoring Rubric for Microbiology Laboratory

Level of Achievement Format Record Observations
EXCELLENT 18-20 27-30 36-40 9-10
(90-100 points) All elements present and complete:
  1. Table of Contents
  2. Pages are numbered
  3. Exercises are titled and dated
  4. Notes are legible
  5. Work is neat
  6. Each section of exercise is clearly labeled
  7. one self-reported absence
All laboratory exercises:
  1. Are present
  2. Have a statement of purpose
  3. Have an observation and/or results section
  4. Have a conclusion and/or interpretation
  5. Unknown work-up in notebook
Each exercise:
  1. Is accurate
  2. Is logically presented
  3. Is presented in your own words
  4. Is presented as a working notebook
  5. Addresses variations from the expected, if relevant
  6. The work-up and identification of each organinism is resent
All drawings:
  1. Reflect observations
  2. Are size and scale appropriate
  3. Are clear
  4. Are representative of the organism
PROFICIENT 16-17 24-26 32-35 8
(80-90 points) All of above elements are present, but at least one is incomplete or inaccurate, or there were no more than two self-reported absences. One laboratory exercise is missing and/or two exercises are incomplete, and the unknown work-up is present. All of the above are true, with a few minor problems, and/or one work-up and identification is missing. All of the above are true, with at least one exception, and the majority of draen organisms are accurate representations.
AVERAGE 14-15 21-23 28-31 7
(70-80 points) At least one of the above elements is absent, but most are present and fairly complete, or there was at least one unreported absence. No more than 3 laboratory exercises are missing and/or incomplete and the unknown work-up is present, but may be incomplete. Major weakness in at least one of the above areas, and/or two work-ups and identifications are missing. All of the above are true, with at least three exceptions, and/or more than half of the organisms drawn are not accurate representations.
MARGINAL 10-13 18-20 24-27 6
(60-70 points) At least two of the above elements are absent, or there were more than three absences. No more than five laboratory exercises are missing and/or incomplete or the unknown work-up missing. Major, repeated problems with at least three of the above areas, and/or three work-ups and identifications are missing. All of the above are true, with at least five exceptions, and more than half of the drawn organisms are not accurate representations.
UNACCEPTABLE 0-9 0-17 0-23 0-5
(0-60-points) Most of the above elements are absent, or there wer more than four absences. More than five laboratory exercises are missing or incomplete. Major, repeated problems with the majority of the above areas. The majority of drawings are missing and/or inaccurate.<

Scoring Rubric, Biology 100 - Topic Paper

Jeanne Weidner, Biology, SDSU

1. You may choose any of the topics that are related to the chapters that we have covered to date in the course.

2. 4-5 page paper summarizing a recent article about an area of interest to you in biology.

3. Attach article to paper, 4 points deducted for each day submitted late.

4. Paper should be double-spaced, cohesive, smooth flowing and include a brief introduction and summary.

5. Include specific topic(s) that we have discussed in class that pertain to the topic.

6. Consult one additional reference, only if the article is insufficient for the size of the paper. List them using any appropriate bibliographic format at the end of your paper

7. Papers will be scored according to the following rubric:

36-40 points Interesting throughout

Flows smoothly; good transitions

Follows directions completely

Well-organized around topic

Good use of mechanics and sentence structure

Thoroughly and accurately summarizes article

28-31 points Interest lowered by lapses in focus

Flow interrupted by many poor transitions

Major lapse in following directions

Organization weak or strays from topic

Serious mechanical errors

Deficiencies or inaccuracies in summary of article

32-35 points Interesting for most of the paper

Flows smoothly but some poor transitions

Some lapse in following directions

Generally well organized; some weakness

Some minor mechanical errors

Adequate and generally accurate summary

24-27 points No clear focus

Jerky or rambling flow

Fails to follow directions

Poorly organized

Many mechanical errors and weak sentence structure

Fails to adequately or accurately summarize article

    0 points No paper submitted

Bibliography of Selected Resources

Angelo, T. A. & K. P. Cross (1993) Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Arends, R.I. 1994. Learning to Teach. New York: McGraw Hill, Inc.

Cross, K. P. & M. H. Steadman (1996) Classroom Research: Implementing the Scholarship of Teaching. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

David, B. G. (1993) Tools for Teaching. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Ebert-May, D. (1999) Scoring rubrics. National Institute for Science Education. University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Freedman, R.L.H. (1994). Open-ended Questioning. Addison Wesley Publishing CO., New York.

Johnson, D.W., R.T. Johnson, K. Smith. (1998) Active learning: cooperation in the college classroom. Interaction Book Co. Edina, MN.

Johnson, D.W., R.T. Johnson, K. Smith (1998) Cooperative learning returns to college: What evidence is there that it really works? Change, July/August, 27-35.

King, A. (1993) From Sage on the Stage to Guide on the Side. College Teaching, 4(1), 30-35

Lunsford, Boyd E. & Mary Jean R. Herzog (1997) Active Learning in Anatomy & Physiology. The American Biology Teacher, 59(2), 80-84.

McKeachie, W. J. (1999) McKeachie's Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers (10`" ed.). New York: Houghton-Mifflin.

McMillan, James H. & Donelson R. Forsyth (1991) What Theories of Motivation Say About Why Learners Learn. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, no. 45, 39-51.

McNeal, Ann P. & Charlene D'Avanzo (1996). Student Active Science: Models of Innovation in College Science Teaching. Saunders College Publishing, Fort Forth.

Miller, W. R. & M. F. Miller (1997) Handbook for College Teaching. Sautee-Nacoochee, GA: Pinecrest:

Richmond, G. & B. Neureither (1998) Making a case for cases. Amer. Biol. Teacher. 60(5):335-342.

Uno, G.E. (1997) Handbook on Teaching Undergraduate Science Courses - A Survival Training Manual. University of Oklahoma.

Walvoord, B. E. & V. J. Anderson (1998) Effective Grading: A Tool for Learning and Assessment. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.