Assessing Students’ Research and Creative Activities: Revising and Applying a Rubric across Disciplines (SURCA)

On March 28th, more than 100 judges (faculty, staff, and outside experts) evaluated the oral and poster presentations of 192 undergraduate students at SURCA, the Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities. Undergraduates from all years, majors, and campuses shared the results of work conducted in partnership with a mentor and competed for awards.

The judges used a shared rubric that was newly revised this year by the SURCA Rubric Committee. Elizabeth Carney, assessment specialist with ATL, who participated in the committee, noted that the committee reviewed rubric samples from a variety of sources and carefully crafted a rubric that targets the core skills involved in original research and creative work regardless of the particular discipline in which the student work is situated. The rubric is designed to evaluate presentations whether they come from STEM disciplines, social sciences, or arts and humanities.

In addition to being valuable as a high-impact learning experience for students, SURCA contributes to assessment at WSU by providing a WSU-wide evaluation of student projects that demonstrate student performance in areas such as visual presentation and oral communication—key learning outcomes that align with WSU’s Seven Learning Goals and Outcomes.