Short Answer / Mini-Essay Assignments: Expectations and Rubrics
Short answer assignments (sometimes called ‘mini essays’) are a means of assessment used by the Institute to help focus your consideration of certain topics and materials, and to provide an opportunity for you to write brief responses on specific points, honing your words on concise matters.
Short answer assignments are usually assigned with a 400-1,000 word expectation: the aim is not for you to write an extended narrative and research consideration (that is the aim, rather, of essay assignments); rather, for you to speak clearly, concisely, and in a focused manner on the topic assigned. Short answer assignments are almost always submitted on-line via the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) interface.
Grading and Rubrics
Most short answer assignments are graded on a standard 0-100 point percentage scale, though some shorter assignments may be marked on a 0-10 scale and given a lesser weighting within a course.
The weighting of short answer assignments within a module’s overall course grade will be described in the assessment critiera document in the module’s VLE resource suite.
Course instructors will use the following rubrics when assessing short answer assignments and assigning a grade:
Academic focus, content and learning (80%)
The answer directly responds to the question posed (or other topic, as given); the answer gives evidence of engagement with the lectures, readings and other assigned materials; the answer seeks to explore the question within the context of Orthodox tradition and practice; arguments made a persuasively constructed and suitably substantiated; etc.
Written Style (20%)
Proper English usage commensurate to level of study; answer is concise, focused, and en pointe; clean text gives evidence of proof-reading; grammar / spelling / punctuation; etc.