Assignment, Student Work & Grading Samples

Photo Diary and rubric

Having observed that many students struggled to apply and integrate theoretical concepts to examples outside of what we discussed in class, I developed and piloted a photo diary assignment. I have since expanded this project into an online diary which the students keep throughout the semester. Via their photo diary entries, students:

  • Are introduced to a theoretical concept in class and given a detailed prompt to complete outside class
  • Take a picture of something in their life that illustrates the concept described in the prompt
  • Write and post a well-developed paragraph online explaining how their picture illustrates the prompt
  • Improve their understanding, application, analysis, and synthesis of complex theoretical concepts

The example below is a sample photo diary entry from the assignment for co-production, defined for the purposes of the class as as the process in which natural systems and social systems shape each other simultaneously.

Write a well-developed paragraph explaining how your picture illustrates co-production. Answer the following questions:

  • What is the natural system you are depicting?
  • What is the human/social system?
  • Describe the relationship between these two systems. How do they influence each other?
  • Do you think this relationship has changed over time? If so, how?
Above: Student photo diary entry, Spring 2016
Below: Accompanying response to written prompt
Rubric for photo diary grades

Annotated Bibliography with formative feedback

For students who complete the Annotated Bibliography project, they have the opportunity to revise their final draft in response to formative feedback. Below on the left is an excerpt from one student’s annotated bibliography, with comments to the right to guide the student towards improving their work if they choose to revise the assignment.

Left: Student work sample
Right: Formative feedback

Climate Change Symposium: Policy Proposal

For their capstone project, some students work in groups to propose climate change solutions, submitting a group-authored paper justifying their two policies. Each group represents a different perspective on climate change. I grade each paper for content, analysis, organization, and basic writing mechanics. Below is an exemplar of one policy extracted from a group paper.

Student work: climate Change Symposium examplar, “Responsibility Must Be Shared By All” perspective
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