Assessment & Evaluation: Digital Text Annotation Rubric


Perusall can help students master readings faster, understand the material better, and get more out of their classes. To achieve this goal, you will be collaboratively annotating the text with your peers. The help you’ll get and provide your classmates (even if you don’t know anyone personally) will help you to move past confusion quickly and will make the reading process more engaging. 


You can start a new annotation thread in Perusall by highlighting text, asking a question, or posting a comment; you can also add a reply or comment to an existing thread. Each thread is like a chat with one or more members of your class, and it happens in real time. Your goals in annotating each reading assignment are to stimulate discussion by posting good questions or comments and to help others by answering their questions and engaging with their comments.


What does a high-quality annotation look like?

For each assignment, we will evaluate the annotations you submit on time (see below). Based on the overall body of your annotations, you will receive a score for each assignment as follows:


2 Demonstrates thoughtful and insightful interpretation of the reading
1 Demonstrates reading but no (or only superficial) interpretation of the reading
0 Does not demonstrate any thoughtful interpretation of the reading


How many annotations do I need to enter?

I will determine your overall score using your 3 highest-quality annotations for each assignment, so be sure to write at least this number to ensure the best score. Because I want you to engage in a natural conversation with your classmates through your annotations, your overall score depends only on these 3 highest-quality annotations. So, as long as you have 3 high-quality annotations, a brief response to another student (e.g., answering “Yes” to what is just a yes or no question) won’t hurt your overall score, even though by itself that response is nominally a “0.” 


What does “on time” mean?

The work done in class depends on you having done the reading in advance, so completing the reading and posting your annotations before the posted deadline is required to receive credit.


To encourage discourse, there is always a three-day “reply window” after each posted deadline during which you can continue to reply, for full credit, to questions posted by others. However, the number of additional points you can earn during the post-deadline reply window is capped at the credit you receive for annotations made on that assignment before the deadline (so no credit before the deadline means no credit after).


Where in the text do I have to annotate?

To lay the foundation for understanding the in-class activities, you must familiarize yourself with each assignment in its entirety. Annotating only part of the text and/or failing to distribute your annotations throughout the document lowers your overall score.


You will receive an overall evaluation for each reading assignment based on the criteria above as follows:

3 = exceptional (rarely given)   |    2 = meets expectations   |    1 = needs improvement   |    0 = insufficient



Student A: In highschool, I remember being amazed by how quickly carts could travel on these tracks - air would blow up through these tiny holes evenly distributed along the length of the track and the cart would essentially float on the air and consequently - the cart would move very quickly with the slightest push. No substance. Does not demonstrate any thoughtful interpretation of the text. 0
Student B: Although there is no way to create frictionless surfaces, I find it interesting that we consider experiments "in the absence of friction." In a way, this relates back to Chapter 1.5 where we talked about the importance of having too little or too much information in our representations. In some cases, the friction is so insignificant that we ignore it (simplifying our representation). Annotation interprets the text and demonstrates understanding of concepts through analogy and synthesis of multiple concepts. 2
Student C: Does this only apply to solid surfaces? I feel as if a sub- stance that floats on water either has negligible or very little friction.

Possibly insightful question but does not elaborate on thought process, nor demonstrate

thoughtful reading of the text.


Student A: Why is this? I don’t understand this.

Student D: I believe this applies to almost every surface, although I'm not sure if water would count more as resistance than friction. Anyway, the best example I could think of would be a surf board. If people who were paddling in the same direction as the waves experienced no resistance, they would continually speed up, and eventually reach very high speeds. However, in reality if they were to stop paddling they'd slow down and only the waves would slowly push them to shore.

Question does not explicitly identify point

of confusion nor demonstrates thoughtful reading or interpretation of the text.

Response demonstrates a thoughtful explanation with a claim substantiated with a concrete example 2

Student E: Doesn't air resistance factor into this at all? It seems that it is not enough for there to be only an absence of friction for something to keep moving without slowing down. What about some other opposing force - like air resistance? Or is air resistance just another example of friction?

Student B: The key word is "appreciably". In the absence of friction, the cart does not slow down appreciably but still would a little due to air resistance

Demonstrates thoughtful interpretation of the text by refuting a statement through a counter example. 2
Responds to the question by thoughtfully interpreting the text 2

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