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DEVELOPMENT OF A GRADING RUBRIC FOR A LAW AND/OR ETHICS CLASS

D. Kleiner, S. Pollack

St. John's University, Tobin College of Business (UNITED STATES)
Professors routinely evaluate student work and assign grades based on that assessment. They make numerous decisions in arriving at a project grade, juggling various factors such as research, writing, analytic reasoning, perhaps creativity, cogency and relevancy of discussions, and conclusions drawn. Typically, professors intuitively consider all these factors and grade based on their overall impression of the paper or project.

However, this approach raises numerous problems. Is a professor consistent in grading across the class? Do the students know precisely what is required of them and what level and quality of work will receive a grade of A, B, C, etc…? Furthermore, in various sections of the same course, taught by different faculty, is there consistency in requirements and grading?

One solution to this topic is to provide a grading rubric that all students and faculty teaching the course are privy to. Much has been written about development of such rubrics and sample rubrics have been proposed for various subjects. Nevertheless, the author has not found a practical, easily usable, and easily comprehensible rubric for a law and ethics course. Therefore, the author is suggesting two possible rubrics that can be used for such a course – one, that integrates both subjects, and the other, that separates out the law from the ethics and evaluates each aspect independently.