Rubric for field notes/field books

Eric J. Pyle
Dept. of Geology & Environmental Science, James Madison University
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This is a rubric for assessing student work with field note-taking. It provides clear expectations to students before any field assignment commences. This rubric is derived from the work of the sub-committee at the Cutting Edge workshop on Assessing Geoscience Programs.

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This set of rubric descriptors is used for a capstone/culminating experience, such as in a field course. It reflects the expert level expectations of students at this stage in their academic preparation, inclusive of the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind, that would signify a journeyman level of field note taking.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

It would be expected that the students with whom this rubric would be used would have completed most if not all of their major coursework in geology. That said, the less-than-exemplary levels represented in the rubric could be seen as mastery levels for students at a very early stage (post-Physical Geology) and middle-stage in their undergraduate career.

How the activity is situated in the course

This rubric has been used for two years with the JMU Field Geology Course, to great effect. It has greatly facilitated the assessment of student field notes, and provides direct feedback to them on how to best improve their work. This facilitation is critical when assessing the work of 30+ students in a 36-hour period, and providing the feedback that will support learning during the course.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Other skills goals for this activity

Description of the activity/assignment

Determining whether students have met the goals

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