Online Learner Discussion Self-Grading

Sharing of an Innovative Teaching-Learning Strategy

  • Laura Marie Schwarz, DNP, RN, CNE Minnesota State University - Mankato
  • Nancyruth Leibold, EdD, RN, PHN, CNE Southwest Minnesota State University
Keywords: andragogy, reflection, self-grading, self-evaluation, self-assessment, self-reflection, innovation, online discussion, discussion self-grading, online education, higher education, adult learner, Knowles, online teaching, online learning


The goals of this presentation are to share the what’s, why’s, how’s and successes of online discussion self-grading. The presenters have successfully implemented discussion self-grading. We will provide a step-by-step how-to for execution of online discussion self-grading through employment of a well-crafted rubric in conjunction with the learning management system quizzing tool. We will discuss how we have shared our discoveries and successes of this innovation with others who have in turn gone on to implement it with positive results. Finally, we will share empirical findings from a first of its kind study on learner perceptions supportive of this innovation as further support. Study findings indicate 1) the rubric and self-grading quiz are clear, fair and easy to apply; 2) learners are honest and use reflection in critical self-assessment of discussion performance; and 3) the rubric and process motivate and assist learners in improving their discussion performance.

After participation in the session, learners will:

  • Describe theoretical framework and constructs that support discussion self-grading;
  • Explain how to implement discussion self-grading;
  • Examine results from a study that investigated learner perceptions of discussion self-grading in the online environment.

Author Biography

Laura Marie Schwarz, DNP, RN, CNE, Minnesota State University - Mankato

Dr. Laura Schwarz, DNP, RN, CNE is an Assistant Professor in Nursing at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Laura has been a Registered Nurse for 25 years with experience in surgical, trauma, neuroscience and critical care areas. She has been a nurse educator for over 20 years. Laura enjoys using innovative teaching-learning strategies and tech tools such as online discussion self-grading and WebQuests. She is an expert at using technology and online modalities to teach nursing. Laura has many professional presentations and publications, in nursing and nursing education, and has been the recipient of several education-related awards.