Course-embedded assessment: common sense

I've been reading up on course-embedded assessment, which I mentioned in an earlier post, and am wondering about the implications for my own classes. As a member of the ESL Program, I use the program's rubric for assessing my students and also to help focus them on areas in which they need improvement. Apparently, however, the rubric's criteria are somewhat elusive for my students. Actually, there are two elements out of the ten that I have to think about, too. If I want my students to better understand criteria of good writing, I've been considering ways to incorporate the rubric in other ways than simply their final grade.

One way I have recently incorporated the rubric is to use it as the basis for my feedback on rough drafts. Another is to have students use it to guide their reviews of classmates' papers. A third way I'm considering is having students write a paragraph to hand in along with a following essay on what aspects of the rubric did they work on to improve the present essay with respect to the previous one.

For students to grasp these criteria that I've been working with for ten plus years, consciously and unconsciously, using them 3-4 times a semester, once per paper is not enough. They need to spend time with them, to reflect on them, and to use them throughout the course on a variety of assignments.

For assessment to be formative, it should be embedded pervasively throughout the course so that the students continually receive feedback and so that they internalize its criteria. Such course-embedded assessment seems common sense to me.