Assessing Student Work

Grading and evaluating student work is one of the most stressful and time-consuming parts of teaching. The resources on this page provide discussion and examples for how to reflect on grading and incorporate strategies to make the process thoughtful, efficient, and less arbitrary. Resources for how to complete the grading process at Peru State are found at the bottom of this page.

An excellent point of departure for this discussion comes from Vanderbilt University at the link below:

Backward Design

Backward design is a method of starting with student learning outcomes and then designing instructional content, strategies, and assignments that will lead to student achievement of those outcomes. The book Understanding Design by Wiggins and McTighe (1998) is one of the most cited publications to develop this concept. The site below from Vanderbilt University “will explain the benefits of incorporating backward design. Then it will elaborate on the three stages that backward design encompasses. Finally, an overview of a backward design template is provided with links to blank template pages for convenience.”

Evaluation Methods


A rubric is a scoring instrument that identifies expectations for an assignment and then is used to assess student performance relative to those expectations. Rubrics can be used for a variety of assignments including papers, group projects, portfolios and presentations. The sites below provide further definition of rubrics, along with examples for how they can be used.

Peru State Forms and Resources