This example shows the use of criteria for the assessment of tasks that involve only a knowledge of mathematical concepts and procedures.

StefanContext: MATHS201 is a unit for second year engineering students. The learning outcomes of the unit focus on a variety of mathematical methods and their applications. The assessment of this unit includes three assignments with an emphasis on knowledge of concepts and procedures. The example here is one of these assignments, which aims to assess the ability to operate with complex numbers and knowledge of the basic concepts of differentiation of functions of a complex variable.

Stefan is the coordinator of MATHS201. In the past, he used to mark his assignments by assigning marks to the different steps of the solution. The longer the working out of an exercise, the more marks were allocated to it. He realised that by doing this he was sometimes giving students too many marks for calculations and algebraic manipulations, as compared to knowledge of concepts and use of mathematical notation.

Stefan has decided to try using criteria based assessment for the assignments in this unit. How could he signal through assessment criteria what is important? Very often his students argue for higher marks in an assignment they have completed. Stefan finds this frustrating because students tend to focus on the steps of the solution rather than its overall quality. Developing and annotating a solution, Stefan reflects on his process:

“Well, I clarified the learning outcomes of the unit first of all. Then I determined the aspects to be assessed (and their relative importance) and developed a marking/grading scheme. Finally, I communicated all of this to the students and to the markers.”

mathsassess_iconRead more about Stefan’s process and the annotated solution for markers he created in Example 2: Mathematical methods for engineeringmathsassess guide [PDF – 6.2 MB]

Create your own rubrics by editing Example 2: Rubrics [Word – 20k]