Tag Archives: evaluation

Final Class: Rough Draft Review, Evaluations, Tearful Goodbyes


The Rogh dRft Revue!

Today we will do a rough draft review by simulating the grading of your papers.  First, however, let’s analyze the rubric.  With a partner, re-read the rubric and describe each of the grades in your own words.

For example, what are all the elements needed to give an A (“Excellent”) grade for outcome 1? Quantity of evidence? Use of evidence? Analysis? Context? Other elements necessary? How does that differ from a B (“Almost Excellent”) grade?  Another tactic may be to differentiate between “strong”,  “very effective”, “effective”, and “adequate” etc for the various learning outcomes. Try to be as specific as possible.  You might find it easier to detail an “A” paper versus a “C” or “C-” (“Almost Acceptable”).

“To get an “Excellent” ranking on Learning Outcome #1, I should include  a minimum of three pieces of evidence from at least two of the documents I have included in my portfolio that, ideally, shows growth and development.”

Once you’ve done that for all learning outcomes use those as a basis for the evaluation of rough drafts. Exchange papers and use the rubrics to grade the paper in front of you, giving an honest grade for each outcome. Explain in a sentence why you gave the grade you did.

When you’re done, if time permits, find another peer to work with. First, switch rubrics to see whether your analyses of the reading rubric coincide. If they don’t, try to come up with a common ground and discuss where your interpretations differ. Do the same for another paper. After you come to an agreement, grade each other’s papers and discuss your feedback for revision.


Final Word of Advice on the Reflection


Don’t Panic!  Ever, really. Not just on this assignment.  Be sure to use enough, appropriate evidence from a variety of sources to discuss each learning outcome.  Weave your discussion as a narrative of your progress through the semester.

Rate Me!

It’s now your turn to evaluate me.  Don’t hold back. Don’t pull any punches. Tell them what you think of me.  Lay it all out on the line. As an instructor, I do value the feedback from student evaluations, and I have adjusted my teaching based on the feedback. As a department, evaluations, along with your reflections and portfolios, help us decide whether or not our changes are effective and well-received.  If there is anything you really like or dislike about this course or me, now is the time to air your grievances or lavish praises.

Course Info:

  • Instructor: Bradley Stabler
  • Course Name: English 1020
  • Course Section: 902
  • CRN (Course Reference Number or Call #): 11588

To preserve the authenticity of the evaluation process, I may not handle the materials and must be out of the room.  I will need a volunteer to gather the evaluations and drop them off at the front desk of this building.  I will be in the lounge area if anyone needs me.

It has truly been an honor and a pleasure working with and getting to know all of you. This class has been one of the most enjoyable groups I have had the pleasure to work with and, as it very well may be the last section I teach at Wayne State, I will remember each and everyone of you fondly. If there is anything you need from me after this semester (recommendations, writing assistance, Bigfoot hunting tips) please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Homework: Finish the Reflective argument.  Upload the entire portfolio to SafeAssign via BlackBoard by 11:59 pm Sunday, December 7. 

Submission Instructions

  1. Assemble your file as a single document in the following order (see attached template):
    1. Cover Page
    2. Reflective Argument
    3. Appendices
  1. Name your file using the following protocol: CRN_accessID_1020F2014
    Example: 11588_ba9104_1020F2014
  1. Upload your file to Blackboard. Post a copy to your blog.
Good luck on your exams and have a wonderful break! You’ve earned it!


Evaluations and Proposals


Building Evaluations

What we have to work with:

  • Criteria for Evaluations–Practical, Aesthetic, Ethical
  • Templates for constructing an argument
    • e.g. “X is (not) a good Y because it (fails to) meet(s) criteria P, A, E.”
  • Evaluation arguments are focused on judgments (this is how you should feel about something).  Evaluations focus on whether or not a particular thing “is” problematic (or good or bad) and often what positive or negative consequences occur from this phenomena.  two-thumbs-up
  • Evaluation arguments usually proceed through a strategy of matching components of the evaluated item to specific criteria.  Typically, we put evaluative critieria into one of three categories:
    • Ethical–“right or wrong” “moral” “proper”
    • Aesthetic–“appealing to the senses” “artistic” “captures the spirit”
    • Practical–“beneficial” “economical” “realistic”
  • Evaluation Arguments must be made using practical, ethical or aesthetic criteria.  In other words, it follows the structure “X is (not) a good Y because it (fails to) meet(s) criteria A, E, P.” Otherwise, it’s simply a statement of your opinion with no sound reasoning behind it such as…

Kanye West, Taylor Swift


  • Pick an item to be evaluated
  • Find out the stakes involved in the claim (is this evaluation controversial and/or interesting to others? Who would be opposed to this evaluation and why?)
  • Develop criteria for evaluating that item (what makes it good or bad? which are most important? which are obvious and which ones do you have to argue for? Which are most likely to impact your audience?)


Google Maps is the best mapping program because it is easy to use, it is accurate, and it provides entertaining and educational features such as Google Earth.


astronautRecently, NASA decided to end the space shuttle program.  However, NASA will continue to send humans into space and are researching new vehicles for the purpose.  Since the beginning of the space program, the issue  of whether or not manned space flight is a necessary risk has been a guiding question for NASA as well as its detractors. How can we evaluate whether or not this is a good policy?

  • Practical:
    • Space travel enhances scientific knowledge and many technological benefits have resulted from the research done in this objective. (Pro)
    • We can more cheaply send robots instead of humans. (Con)
  • Aesthetic
    • Space travel is essential to the way we understand ourselves as humans; mtv-moon-astronaut-moonman-flag-300x192US astronauts in space is an indelible American cultural image; popular culture (e.g. MTV) has adopted space pioneers as heroes. (Pro)
    • The very public loss of life due to space disasters can be harmful to our national psyche. (Con)
  • Ethical:
    • Much of space exploration undertaken benefits, directly, human life on earth. (Pro)
    • The huge expenditure required for human space travel would be better used elsewhere.  Human life is endangered by space travel. (Con)

 Weighting Criteria:

Often, as in the space travel example above, there will be both positive and negative conclusions based on your criteria.  After all, if there were *only* good or *only* bad consequences from an action, we probably wouldn’t have to bother doing a formal evaluation.  Therefore, we need to analyze both sides of any topic.


Once you have evaluated a situation or problem and discussed the ramification of the issue for stakeholders, you are ready to move on and propose a solution.


Much like evaluations, proposals are created based on specific criteria and follow a basic structure responding to your claim that “We should (should not) do X.” Proposals are typically arranged in a three part structure:

1. Convincing the audience that a problem exists

e.g. “Economic decline has demoralized the residents of Detroit.”

2. Showing the particulars of your proposal (your solution to the problem)

e.g. “Therefore, we should build a statue of RoboCop…”


3. Justifying why your proposal should be enacted (that your proposal is feasible and will have positive outcomes).

e.g. “…which can be financed by private donations.  This should be done because it will spur tourist interest in the city as well as honor Detroit’s emerging role in film culture.”




Is the real challenge convincing your audience that a problem exists or is it convincing them of a viable solution to a problem they already know exists?

  • Prioritizing the Problem: Depending on the particulars of your topic, one or more of these items may be prioritized over the others. For instance, if you are proposing a fairly straightforward change that requires little detail – say, convincing an audience to ban stem cell research – you might spend the majority of its times on item one (convincing the audience that stem cell research is a problem), with items two (it should be banned entirely in the US) and three (negative consequences if the ban is not enacted) relegated to the final few paragraphs.
  • Prioritizing the Solution: Conversely, often your proposal might be addressing what the majority (if not all) of your audience will agree is a problem; in this case, the challenge is providing a viable solution (if the finding the solution is not a problem, presumably the problem would have already been solved). For instance, most WSU students would agree that parking on campus is a problem; however, providing a feasible solution to this problem is difficult.

The Outline:

  1. Introduction with a nice hook enticing the reader.   Introduction should state:
    1. If you choose to write to a specific audience, say, legislature, you must state the nature of the audience
    2. Issue/problem at hand
    3. Your thesis as the form of a proposal responding to that issue. “We should (not) do X.”
  2. The Stakes–Convincing the audience a problem exists.  In this section, you will evaluate the issue.
    1. What is the problem? Use Practical, Ethical, or Aesthetic criteria to describe the issue
      1. What are the negative consequences?
      2. What is the extent of the problem?
      3. Define any terms that arise which may be controversial.
    2. Who are the stakeholders? Who is affected? Who stands to be affected next?
    3. Is there an end/relief in sight?
  3. The particulars of your proposal.  In this section, you may have to define terms or concepts with which your audience may not be familiar.  All aspects of your proposal needs to be discussed in detail and may include the following:
    1. What is required to enact your proposal? (a new law, money, willingness to change, etc.)
    2. Feasibility of your solution.  Much like Practical Criteria of Evaluations
    3. Positive benefits of your solution discussed using Practical, Ethical, or Aesthetic criteria
  4. Justification of your solution.  Any one or all of the following may apply.  Your task is to discuss them and show why your proposal is superior.
    1. Counterarguments may arise as to whether or not your issue is even a problem.
    2. Your solution may be controversial to enact.
    3. It may have unintended negative effects.
    4. Alternative solutions may have been suggested.
  5. Conclusion.  Like all good conclusions, wrap up the paper.  Restate (not word-for-word) the issue and proposal. Make a final push to persuade.

Homework: Read your research. Begin drafting sections of the essay.  Rough Draft in class by Tuesday, November 13.

Write: On your blogs, please post by Thursday, 11/6, a response (of no more than 300 words) to the following:

How do you view yourself as a researcher? How has this changed over the semester?  What do you view as your role within your group? How is this beneficial to the group as a whole? How have your experiences with collaborative writing in this class differ from other experiences you may have had working with a group?