ED 653 Assignment: Design an Assessable Activity

See original post with comments on the ED 653 Course Website.


“Select one assessment from the list on your strategy map and plan how you will implement it. There are three parts to this assessment:

  1. Design the assessment itself. Write prompts and instructions for completing it. In your instructions, include any required conditions or parameters. Since your assessment will be deployed in an online learning module, describe how students will submit it.
  2. Explain the process you will use to provide feedback.
  3. Create a grading rubric to accompany the assessment.”

My Post:

[Notes to the reader are provided in maroon and enclosed in brackets to give context and additional information. These notes will not be included in the assignment the student sees.]

[Context: Over the course of the semester, the students work on a hypothetical or actual research assignment for another class. Each unit has activities that require them to return to their topic and perform practical tasks learned in that unit. After receiving feedback from peers and the instructor, and revising their work, selected assignments and reflections are then compiled into a sort of research journal as a final project. For this unit, I am thinking that their final/successful search strategy chart, their reflection on the process and/or justification for their article selection, and their selected 3 articles in proper MLA or APA format will ultimately be included in that final research journal. Please note that this assignment is a culminating assignment for the end of the unit. Though it was designed with one enduring understanding in mind, it addresses all of my enduring understandings.]

Assignment 8: Searching Academic Search Premier (ASP)

Assignment Instructions:

Find 3 relevant articles on your topic using ASP. Be sure to complete the following steps:

1.   Complete a search strategy chart prior to executing your search in ASP. You will probably start with the proposed search string you developed at the end of the search string exercise.

[Note this chart has them map out their search strategy as it will be entered into the ASP search boxes. It will also ask them which limits, if any, they will want to apply in their initial search. Along the way it asks them to provide brief notes about their results and why they are making certain decisions. The chart guides them in their thought process about the search but also gives me an opportunity to follow their thought process. It also allows me to duplicate their searches to evaluate their results and decisions. I would need to develop this chart for the course.]

2.   Conduct your search in ASP. Record how you revise and refine (limit) your search on the chart as you go. Though trial and error is okay and often necessary, be sure your trials are based on your evaluation of the search results and not random stabs in the dark. In the unlikely event that you feel you do not need to revise or refine your initial search, be sure to justify your decision in the “Notes” box.

3.  Once you feel your search is yielding a manageable number of relevant results, select 3 of the most relevant articles from those results. Remember that these articles must be ones you would actually use in your research paper or project. Article citations must be reported in correct MLA or APA style.

[Students will supplement this exercise with written, video, or audio reflection(s) that will include a justification for the selection of their particular articles. That justification piece will be posted, along with the article citations, to the Blackboard discussion board for peer feedback.]

4.  Record your final, successful search strategy on a new search strategy sheet. Briefly (1-3 sentences) explain include your reasoning for stopping where you did in the “Notes” box.

Submission Instructions:

Submit as “Assignment 8” in the Assignments section on Blackboard. Be sure to include your initial search strategy chart complete with all search revisions; your final, successful search strategy chart; and complete citations for your selected articles.

Due Sunday, March 31, at 11:59 pm local time.


Assignment 8 is worth 20 points. You will be graded using the following rubric. Remember that there isn’t a right or wrong answer when it comes to database searching. I am most concerned with you giving careful thought to your search strategy and providing your reasoning, regardless of what path you take.

  1 Points 2-3 Points 4 Points
Initial Search Strategy Initial search strategy clearly lacks careful thought; connection to the topic may be weak. Though most aspects of the search strategy are sound, others are weak. Student formulates a logical, carefully thought out initial search strategy that is relevant to the topic.
Evaluation of Results Most decisions regarding revisions, refinements, and stopping point do not appear to be based on an evaluation of search results; OR student fails to provide stopping point justification. Some decisions regarding revisions, refinements, and stopping point do not appear to be based on an evaluation of search results; OR stopping point justification is weak. Student shows evidence of carefully evaluating results at each stage before deciding what to try next; justification of stopping point is logical.
Search Revisions and Refinements Student consistently displays a lack of understanding of what impact various revisions and refinements may have on a search. Student appears to lack understanding of the impact of some revisions and refinements. Selected revisions and refinements consistently make sense based on student’s evaluation of the results and reflect an understanding of what impact each change might do to their search.
Selected Articles Student selects fewer than 3 articles or any of the articles are irrelevant to the topic. Student selects 3 articles but some or all are marginally relevant. Student selects 3 relevant articles that will ultimately be useful in completing the selected research paper or project.
Clarity and Style Student’s thought process is difficult to follow; correct MLA or APA citation style is not followed. Occasionally challenging to follow student’s process; a minor error in MLA or APA citation style may exist. Student’s thought process is clearly articulated throughout the chart; correct MLA or APA citation style is followed.

[Additional feedback notes: As mentioned above, I will provide students detailed feedback on their search strategies. In addition, select portions of their work will be posted to discussion boards for their classmates to provide peer feedback (which is required and graded). Students then revise selected assignments as needed, based on the feedback they receive and what they may learn later in the course, before compiling it into their final research journal.]

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