Two Part Rubric for Contributions to Online Discussions

Possible Points






Shows Understanding Through Explanation

Sophisticated: an unusually thorough, elegant, and inventive account (model, theory, or explanation); fully supported, verified, and justified; deep and broad; goes well beyond the information given.

It is very clear that readings were understood and incorporated well into responses

In-depth: a revealing account, going beyond what is obvious or what was explicitly taught; makes subtle connections; well supported by argument and evidence; novel thinking displayed.

It is clear that readings were understood and incorporated into responses

Developed: an account that reflects some in-depth and personalized ideas; the student is making the work their own, going beyond the given -there is supported theory here, but insufficient or inadequate evidence and argument.

You did not incorporate enough information from the assigned readings in your responses to the questions: What Happens to Students When Assessments are Well Done Versus When They are Poorly done.

Intuitive: an incomplete account but with apt and insightful ideas; extends and deepens some of what was learned; some "reading between the lines"; account has limited support, argument, or data. Some sweeping generalizations are made that are not supported. There is a theory, but one with limited evidence or support from assigned readings.

Naïve: a superficial account; more descriptive than analytical or creative; a fragmentary or sketchy account of facts/ideas or glib generalizations; a black-and-white account; less a theory than an unexamined hunch or borrowed idea.

Points received for Understanding Through Explanation……………

The rubric above is drawn from the writings of Wiggens and McTighe on Assessment of Understandings via Explanation.Wiggens, G., & McTighe, J. (1998). Understanding by design. Alexandra , VA : Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Summary Table of Discussion Participation

Possible Points


Points Awarded

Timely discussion contributions

Contributes to discussions in a timely way, so that others have the time to read and respond to postings.

Responsiveness to discussion postings of other course participants.

Posts thoughtful responses to other participants' comments.  Feedback is constructive, specific and supportive, OR Feedback raised additional engaging discussion topics.

Points received for Quality of Explanation………..

Total Points Awarded……..