Using Canvas Discussions is a good way to use higher order thinking skills and improve communication as our students justify their answers and question others. In Fall 2013, all three of my hybrid classes had weekly discussions that enriched our content. However, the quality of the discussions was somewhat lacking. Mid semester, I instituted rubrics to help guide and measure their posts. For a 15 point discussion, the rubrics were as follows:
- Evidenced and referenced the reading/assignment - 3 pts.
- Thoroughly and completely addressed the prompt/answer - 5 pts.
- Responded thoughtfully to at least three other posts - 3 pts.
- Conventions: used appropriate mechanics, punctuation, spelling, grammar - 4 pts.
Discussion scores went from an average of 11-12 points (roughly 75%) the first half of the semester to an average of 13-14 points (about 90%) the second half after implementing the rubrics. As a result, I am continuing to use the rubrics this semester with similar results. It also makes for quick grading, with clear feedback for students!