Rubric for a slideshow

This quarter I am teaching a fully online class on Digital Globalization. The final assignment in the class is a “digital artifact,” which for most students is a Google Slideshow. The work for this assignment is scaffolded through the class, and includes peer review. These slideshows are the only content for the final week of the course. I have done this before, and the assignment is very popular with students. My intent for the assignment is to develop learner autonomy, by making them responsible for the course content.

My teaching philosophy values explicit instruction, so I am a firm believer in rubrics, which help to convey clear expectations for assignments. Here is a rubric with content that I developed for this particular slideshow assignment. I have adapted the format of another rubric that a colleague shared with me, although I do not know who originally created this format, and so cannot give them credit. I like this format because it provides information based on a visual ranking, rather than assigning numbers.

Shawn Smallman, 2016. …

Rubric for an Online Quiz

I am teaching a hybrid class, “Foundations of Global Studies Theory,” which has a weekly quiz on the readings. Every student is expected to write a two to three paragraph answer every week to a question like this: “What were the strengths and weaknesses’ of Adorno and Horkheimer’s article? One critique of critical theorists is that they can be “culture snobs,” who look down on forms of popular expression (music, television). Do you think that this is a fair critique based on this article? Is this article still relevant to contemporary society, or was its usefulness confined to its historical period?” I try to give every student feedback on their quiz response every week, but it’s challenging to do with 40 students in the class. To help with this issue, I’ve created this rubric, which I’ve found is very helpful:


Rubric for a book review of a novel

I want to share a rubric for book review that was developed by Rosie David, an outstanding graduate assistant in our International Studies program at Portland State University. Rosie improved upon a rubric that I had shared with her by rethinking the categories, and creating very detailed guidelines for each section. I hope that this may be useful to some of you in your classes. Prof. Smallman, Portland State University …

Class Assignment: Response Paper and Rubric

Image of globe courtesy of chris roll at
Image of globe courtesy of chris roll at

This quarter I have been teaching an “Introduction to International Studies” class. One of my goals for the year is to have a final assignment that challenges students to reflect on the course material, and to integrate what they have learned from diverse sources. I’ve chosen a response paper of about five pages in length, which they will write to address the following question: …

Class Assignment: Blog Review and Rubric

In the past, I’ve typically asked students to do a book review in my “Introduction to International Studies”

Image of globe courtesy of digidreamgrafix at
Image of globe courtesy of digidreamgrafix at

course. But as students have increasingly moved to using alternative media sources to get their information, I want to make sure that they are thinking critically about these sources. For this reason, I’ve required that my students this quarter write a review (four pages in length) of one international blog. I’ve told the class that the blog review should be a critical look at the blog, which follows the same basic format as a book review. The review asks what the writer is trying to do, and how well do they do it. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the blog? Once that question is answered, then can explore particular questions the blog raises, connections to the class, etc. But the core of this project is a critical evaluation of the blog itself, rather than a summary of its content.  …

Rubrics for Teaching International/Global Studies

I’ve only begun using rubrics for grading during the last year, but I’ve quickly come to believe that they are a better way to give student feedback. They do take time to prepare. But I have been sharing the rubrics with students beforehand, and I believe that the students’ work is of a better quality as a result. Students have fewer questions about their grades, and the grading process itself is quicker, more consistent and clearer. I know that many faculty have been using rubrics for a decade, so I am a latecomer to the trend. But it’s interesting to me that the students themselves are now asking for the rubrics for assignments. I am giving an example of a study guide for the midterm below, then a copy of the rubric for it, which was based on Kim’s work. If you want more materials, be sure to explore our teacher’s manual. Here are the study guide and the rubric: …

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