“It is amazing how much better my students’ work has become as my expectations and guidelines become clearer.” – A faculty member reflecting on the use of assessment rubrics
I know that feeling. When no one is clear on what’s expected, everyone worries about the grade (the only indicator). When the assessment process is clearly articulated, learners are able to focus on the learning and the experience, and usually surpass my expectations. Over the years, as I have harmonized my course designs, linking objectives and outcomes with specific projects and reflecting these in guidelines, descriptions and assessment rubrics, I have felt the focus of my courses change. By using rubrics and scoring sheets to make the assessment process more transparent, the focus shifts from test-taking and grade anxiety towards learning, effort and excellence.
Here are just a few of the advantages:
“Rubric” is the term applied to the most detailed and comprehensive of these assessment guides. In simple terms, a rubric shows how learners will be assessed and/or graded. In other words, a rubric provides a clear guide as to how ‘what learners do’ in a course will be assessed. In formal terms, the following provides a standard definition: A scoring rubric is a set of ordered categories to which a given piece of work can be compared. Scoring rubrics specify the qualities or processes that must be exhibited in order for a performance to be assigned a particular evaluative rating. – Peter McDaniel (1994), Understanding Educational Measurement.
Rubrics come in different types (holistic, analytic, general and task-specific) and are designed for different purposes (overall course evaluation reference, skill/competency/component assessment, feedback guidelines), and are designed for use assessing various outcomes (assignments, activities, products, projects, presentations, performances, practica, portfolios, etc.) by different people (faculty, learner, peers, colleagues). They support formative and summative assessment and guide the learner’s growth and improve the quality of the learning products, activities and experiences. To understand the different dimensions of a rubric and how one is constructed, see this Rubric for Rubrics (http://tltgroup.org/Mullinix/Rubrics/A_Rubric_for_Rubrics.htm), or use it to evaluate your own.
Here are a few of the steps for creating your own rubric:
For more details, information on types, a rubric to assess your rubric, and access to sample rubrics and scoring sheets, see: http://tltgroup.org/Mullinix/Rubrics.htm.
Adapted from Dr. Bonnie B. Mullinix, Sr. Consultant, Faculty and Educational DevelopmentTeaching, Learning and Technology Group http://www.tltgroup.org. Contributed by Tasha Souza.
Rubrics, http://tltgroup.org/Mullinix/rubrics.htm – background, types and uses, rubric for rubric, and sample rubrics and scoring sheets
Flashlight 2.0 Matrix Survey, http://www.tltgroup.org/Flashlight/FLO2/see.htm – survey and online rubric assessment tool
Rubistar, http://rubistar.4teachers.org/index.php – online rubrics generator/information
Thinking Gear, http://www.thinkinggear.com/tools – online rubrics generator/information