In Applied Physics 50b, the Rubrics feature in Canvas was instrumental in allowing students to get feedback on their project reports and to submit an improved version based on this feedback.
Applied Physics 50b, which is a new project-based introductory physics course, includes three month-long hands-on projects where students, working in teams, are asked to build physical devices applying the concepts taught in class.
"By asking them to resubmit, students are actually forced to address the weaknesses of their reports."
-- Kelly Miller, AP 50b co-instructor
Each project culminates with a team presentation and a written report, which is assessed according to a precise rubric. Rubric criteria include Flow/Organization, Notation, Use of Graphics, Length, and more. For each criterion, teaching staff set ratings corresponding to different levels of performance and also have the option of adding written comments.
Before Canvas, rubrics were used to evaluate the reports but there was no practical way for teaching staff to communicate the detailed points and comments breakdown to students. As a result, they would only see their final grades and there was no attempt to improve the first report’s version. The availability of SpeedGrader and the rubric feature in Canvas prompted the teaching staff to ask students to submit a second version of their reports with the promise that they would regrade them.
“By asking them to resubmit, students are actually forced to address the weaknesses of their reports” says Kelly Miller, one of the AP 50b co-instructors.