Assessing Student Responses

Focus on the approach

When assessing documented problem solving responses, it's important for instructors to remember that the point of this approach is to assist students in learning how to breakdown their learning process into discrete steps. The expectation is that by writing down the thought processes they use to solve a problem, students will become more efficient learners. While arriving at the correct answer is of value, the step-by-step process that is used to arrive at the answer is the most important aspect of documented problem solving.

Initially, students will need assistance with writing down their thought process since they've been conditioned to focus on getting the correct answer. That's why the technique must be demonstrated for students before an assignment is made. When assessing student performance, instructor comments should be informative in terms of the process the student followed. It is beneficial for students to learn where their logic has broken down which will help them with future problem-solving approaches.

For more information about the importance of assessment and assessment strategies, refer to the Assessment module.

Using a rubric to assess documented problem solving

Constructing a rubric makes it easy to assess documented problem solving responses. The instructor can conduct the assessment themselves, but a rubric also makes it easy for students to assess their own documented problem solving response or that of a classmate. Below is a rubric with the steps students should follow, the homework question and two student responses with the missteps noted.

Rubric for Assessing One-shot Demand-side Inflation

1 – Point A represents long-run equilibrium; it's on the LRAS curve

2 – Define demand-side inflation (created by excess demand for goods and services)

3 – Excess demand causes an increase or rightward shift in AD to AD2

4 – The economy to moves to a new equilibrium at Point E

5 – At Point E, the economy is producing beyond the natural rate of unemployment

6 – Businesses face higher costs for factor inputs

7 – Short-run AS curve shifts to the left

8 – New equilibrium at Point B

Homework Question: One-shot Demand-side Inflation

Demand-side inflation question

Student I Solution - with checkmarks to indicate the essential elements

Demand-side inflation answer

Student II Solution - with checkmarks to indicate the essential elements

Demand-side inflation answer II