Part 10: Fall 2019 Labs

200 Evaluating Learning (II): Rubrics and Grading Tips — 10.25.2019

On October 25, 2019, participants of the Active Teaching Lab discussed strategies for evaluating student learning. The focus was on tips and strategies for designing rubrics to align with course learning outcomes.


  • Learn from others: Ask students about their previous experiences in different courses! Ask colleagues for their best quiz tips! 
  • Rubrics remind both graders and students what expectations are, so students can focus on demonstrating mastery, and graders don’t grade on unexpected components.
  • Provide feedback at every opportunity — summative & formative assessment — so students both a grade and another impression of correct content and explanations. Every impression of content deepens learning.
  • Encourage personal connection: Create questions, activities, and assignments that require students to personalize content and connect it to their lives. This both deepens learning and reduces cheating because every student experience is different.

For more information, view the session’s activity sheet here.


The Active Teaching Lab is a Faculty Engagement program with sessions held on Wednesdays from 1:00-2:00pm and Fridays from 8:30-9:45am in the Middleton Building (1305 Linden Dr.), room 120. Check out upcoming Labs or read the recaps from past Labs. We build interdisciplinary conversations that are more emergent than a presenter and more dynamic than a panel — a conversation with colleagues sharing challenges, solutions, and experiments on topics selected by a variety of stakeholders.

Sign up for regular Lab announcements by sending an email to


Active Teaching Lab eJournal Copyright © 2016 by DoIT Academic Technology and the UW-Madison Teaching Academy; Jennifer Hornbaker; John Martin; Julie Johnson; Karin Spader; Margaret Merrill; Margaret Murphy; and Jeffrey Thomas. All Rights Reserved.

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