More than just a grade

For me, the shift was freeing — no longer did the rubric dictate my thoughts on student writing, but rather now the writing itself dictated that. Yet the shift was not as swift for my students. Ingrained in their mind was the idea that their worth — especially in terms of writing skills — was tied to grades.

More than just a grade

It was just a matter of waiting until the right course came along. When I was scheduled to teach a graduate class in clinical neuropsychology this past fall semester, I decided it was the perfect course to try out APSWI because I always strive to include a community outreach component in the courses that I teach.

The mission of APSWI More than just a grade a great vehicle for promoting social justice, particularly within the context of a Neuropsychology course. As medical paternalism is gradually being replaced by do-it-yourself internet research, providing accurate cutting-edge information about neuropsychological research and related diagnoses to an internet audience is necessary for individuals to make informed decisions about their medical care.

Wikipedia is frequently accessed for health-related information, including information about neuropsychological and psychological diagnoses. By joining the ranks of professors and students who were already participating in APSWI, I was excited to provide my students with an opportunity to contribute to this important group effort.

Overall, Project NeuroWiki was a very rewarding experience for me and my students. Most students indicated that they will continue to update and maintain their Wikipedia pages after the course ends.

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I will continue to follow their selected Wiki pages to track interesting developments as new research becomes available. Unanticipated experiences arose during the course of the semester. This important level of collaboration would have never occurred if students were writing a traditional term paper.

Learning how to efficiently collaborate is critical as psychological science becomes an increasingly multidisciplinary and international discipline. However, this type of fast-paced electronic collaboration also poses unique challenges for grading.

Wiki pages are dynamic, quickly changing documents. How should an instructor grade a project that is necessarily collaborative and not static?

More Than Just a Grade – Crusader Nation

How do instructors measure the unique impact that students have on their Wikipedia pages in the context of collaboration? These are important questions for professors to grapple with as web-based multidisciplinary final projects become increasingly commonplace.

More than just a grade

A related issue occurred after one student conducted extensive background research on the Wiki page that she intended on updating. She was about to update her selected Wiki page, when she realized that another group of students from a different university had already made significant changes to the page that she was working on.

Similarly, other students occasionally found it challenging that other people were working on their pages at the same time as they were. A final unanticipated issue arose when a student discovered that following months of his hard work, someone had replaced his entire Wiki page with the biography of an international football star.

He quickly remedied this problem, but it was surely a stressful moment to find that his entire final project had been wrongfully edited. These challenges offered important educational experiences that introduced skills involved in effectively directing collaborative efforts and managing the dissemination of information in a fluid, web-based, public context.

As an instructor, I faced new pedagogical challenges. I struggled to arrange a grading rubric for an activity that I had never personally done before, and there is a lot of room for improvement in the rubric that I provided for my students.

Another difficulty was that the Wiki pages that the students were improving were at different stages of development, so the amount and type of work that each student needed to do improve their specific page varied. In retrospect, it would have been helpful to ask each student to submit a proposal of their changes for me to review so that I could provide useful feedback to guide their projects from an early stage.

Despite facing some challenges and weaknesses, this final project was a huge success that will undoubtedly influence countless individuals beyond the doors of the Ivory Tower.Much like most of you, it terrifies me to think of failure.

How can I make my lesson objectives board more than just wallpaper in my classroom?


I made a change. I still read my objective to my students. Sometimes I have them read with me. But before I dive into my lesson, This works great for third grade and up. I tried this with my second graders one year, and while they could do it, it did take.

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“I really enjoyed that the research and time spent on the course final would go for more than just a grade, but also aid public knowledge.” “All of the work actually means something! It is helping others to be more informed, especially in areas I know about.

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More Than Just a Grade – Association for Psychological Science