Carnegie Mellon University

Eberly Center

Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation

Instructor: Ting Chang
64-100 Critical Histories of Art, College of Fine Arts
Assessment Tool:
Rubric for Assessing Student Participation


I teach a large lecture class that is required for all majors in the College of Fine Arts. In addition to attending the lectures, students meet in smaller recitation sections in which they are expected to participate in discussions. The TAs and I have found that students have different levels of comfort with—and knowledge of—what participation means. I wanted to create a rubric that would monitor students’ participation during recitation.


I developed a rubric that clearly articulates the different behavioral components of participation and that describes these behaviors at different performance levels. The rubric is handed out with the syllabus at the beginning of the semester. Students can use this rubric as a guide to participation throughout the semester, and TAs can use this rubric to grade students’ overall participation at the end of the semester.


Students have become more aware of what productive participation means and have noticeably begun to participate according to the guidelines in the rubric. Grading participation has become less subjective and more uniform across the recitation sections.



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