Studies in Learning, Evaluation, Innovation and Development > Vol. 9, No. 1 (2012)

Using Rubrics to assist teachers to embed evaluation feedback in the development of their teaching and learning

Trudy Harris, University of Waikato
Dorothy Spiller, University of Waikato
Michele Schoenberger-Orgad, University of Waikato
Cheryl Cockburn-Wootten, University of Waikato


Professional development of academic staff is an area which highlights the difficulty of embedding evaluation feedback into continuous improvement of teaching and learning. While most institutions require academic staff to conduct formal evaluations of their teaching, frequently little attention is paid to follow up processes which would assist staff in interpreting feedback and using it to enhance their practice. This gap makes it difficult to embed an internal evaluations culture and perpetuates a perception of formal evaluation as an add-on compliance process. As professional developers, strategies are needed to demonstrate to staff that evaluation feedback can have an immediate pertinence for their practice. One such strategy is to develop tools to support staff with the interpretation of evaluation feedback and suggest associated pathways for professional development. Within this strategy there are a number of options, one of which is to use rubrics for interpretations and signposting for further action. This paper describes a pilot project in which rubrics were introduced to help teachers interpret student feedback received through the formal evaluation system. Alongside the rubrics, suggestions were made about appropriate resources for professional development opportunities. We set out to investigate whether the introduction of rubrics could improve the link between evaluation feedback and professional development. Findings from the initial iteration of the project will be presented here.

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