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Creating and grading effective lab reports for STEM labs

In our final meeting for Spring 2020 on June 2, we discussed how to create and grade effective lab reports for online labs. The following ideas were shared.

  • Many different formats can work for online lab reports: a word document emailed or submitted on blackboard, a screenshot of a completed online simulation, etc.
  • Lab reports should help students practice specific learning outcomes
  • The outcomes students should master ought to be explicit, so that students can easily see why they are assigned to complete specific activities.
  • The instructions and expectations for lab reports should be clear to students.
  • Rubrics, which can be created and re-used in Blackboard, can be an excellent tool both for communicating expectations and for providing clear guidelines for grading. They also make grading more efficient (i.e., faster). A short demonstration ensued on how to create a rubric in blackboard, and how to use it for grading.
  • The demo for Blackboard rubrics led to participants sharing other Blackboard tips for the remainder of the meeting
    • Effective use of discussion boards
    • Creating exams and online exam protocols
    • Creating question pools
    • Using grade center effectively

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