Assessing the Discussion
You should establish the grading criteria and communicate them to the class before the discussion begins. Once the discussion has concluded, there are several steps you can take to provide assessment and closure to the learning activity.
- Provide some type of summation of the learning activity. This may be a posting in which you summarize the main points raised by the discussion. You may also ask students to list the most significant aspects of the discussion or to reflect on how their understanding changed as they participated in the discussion.
- Use a rubric to grade student's learning in the discussion forum. Rubrics make grading more objective, and, when shared with students, they provide detailed feedback on their performance. (Note: Currently, Blackboard does not have an interactive grading form that you can complete and return to the student. It does, however, have a static rubric that you can create and refer to as you grade. Upgrades to Blackboard in the summer of 2011 will include an interactive grading form).
- Return the grade and feedback in a timely manner. (Follow your divisional or departmental policy regarding returning graded work to students).
Continue to the next page for demonstration of how to create, facilitate, and assess online discussions.