Keeping in mind that we often get what we measure, I started from day 1 talking to students about an argument continuum.
Gut Level Answer
We're all pretty good at this one. Offer an answer, but when asked why we
Answer With Some Reason
This is a step above the shrug, but isn't entirely satisfying. I'm ok with students being in this area for a bit--"I think
Answer With Convincing Reason
I'm not really pleased with the wording on this one, but the gist is that we are looking for a student's thinking to be able to stand the test of peer review. Does it convince others? Can others use your process and arrive at the same conclusion? If so, then we'll call this good.
I think this is something that I've had in my mind for as long as I've been teaching, but being more explicit about it with students has been beneficial. I hear things like "show your work" which has morphed into "show your thinking" and I think they both are trying to get at the same thing. Unfortunately, I think students usually interpret these in a quantitative way that amounts to something to check off the list. Did I write a number of things down because teacher asked me to? Yep, so let's move on.
As students begin to look at the quality of their work, we all win.