States Seek Ways to Take Measure of College Degrees

Refining the Recipe for a Degree, Ingredient by Ingredient 1

Kristin Murphy for The Chronicle

Norman L. Jones is chairman of the history department at Utah State U. and a state leader in a project developed by the Lumina Foundation to better articulate goals for student learning.

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close Refining the Recipe for a Degree, Ingredient by Ingredient 1

Kristin Murphy for The Chronicle

Norman L. Jones is chairman of the history department at Utah State U. and a state leader in a project developed by the Lumina Foundation to better articulate goals for student learning.

Christopher A. Conte can hardly stand to utter the word "rubric."

He finds the grading grid, which has recently captivated many of his faculty colleagues in the history department here at Utah State University, entirely too rigid.

The scoring guide maps out specific learning goals, giving detailed explanations of how a professor will judge a student's mastery of each. The jargony concept is the talk of his history department now, prompted by a new national project designed to