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Course Spotlight

Course Spotlight: FOR 406

During review and discussion at UCCC, committee members often comment and praise different elements of new or returning undergraduate courses. Read this course spotlight article to see what they had to say about FOR 406: Forest Inventory, Analysis, and Planning!

Group of CNR students in a forest

During the January 11th, 2023 University Courses and Curricula Committee (UCCC) meetings, College of Natural Resources undergraduate course, FOR 406: Forest Inventory, Analysis and Planning, received high praise for its implementation of an exemplary rubric for class attendance, participation, and preparation. With FOR 406 instructor, Professor Gary Blank, present at the meeting to explain the course, committee members complimented FOR 406’s participation rubric stating it was “excellent” and “one of the best [they’ve] ever seen”. Dr. Blank noted that a now-retired colleague, Dr. Sarah Warren, had shared this rubric with him some years before, and it impressed him as especially appropriate for students in a senior capstone course. 

The rubric addresses class attendance, participation, and preparation across the traditional A-F scale. Based on the rubric, which is provided in the syllabus, the top scores for attendance go to students who have perfect timely attendance with only excused absences. For participation, A-students must frequently raise their hand and demonstrate active participation by answering and asking questions and contributing thoughtfully during group/pair discussions and class discussions. Finally, according to the rubric, the best prepared students turn in assignments on time, read the assigned materials before class, review assignments in advance, and ask clarifying questions. 

In the following meeting on January 25th, 2023, committee members reiterated their comments regarding how such a thorough participation rubric should be implemented across the board as a guiding example of how to grade attendance.