What is a rubric
Origin: latin means “marks in red”
a matrix with scaled levels of accomplishment or understanding of each criteria or dimension of quality set forth for an assessment
The essential elements of a rubric are: evaluative criteria, quality definitions and a scoring strategy
Designing a rubric
Design the rubric with a clear understanding of what learning objectives you want the student to have
Ask yourself “What do I want the students to know?” and “How do I know when they have reached this?”
Be as specific and clear as possible when defining the criteria and expectations!!!
Holistic vs. Analytical
Holistic: one score, considering the combined score of all criteria (overall)
pros: looks at the quality overall, quicker to generate and score
cons: doesn’t give back specific feedback, open to debate by students
Analytical: separate scores given for each criteria (looks at the different dimensions)
pros: emphasize specific criteria, feedback for each grading topic
cons: longer to make and grade, can lose the big picture
Create a list of assessment criteria that you would want the student to show mastery in through accomplishing the assignment
levels of proficiency and quality need to be described
Start off with what the highest level (expert) should look like; this will be what the students should aspire to reach.
Avoid using general descriptive words like “good’ and “creative”
Be explicit and clear in your expectations and your standards
Grading/ Scoring levels.
Limit the scoring levels to only 3 or 4
Use a scale that will allow the student to see progression (Exemplary, Proficient, Acceptable, Unacceptable)
Well-defined breaks between the scoring levels
Go over the rubric with the students after handing it out
Allow the students to ask questions regarding it
Clarify any issues that the students are having with it
Students don’t understand assessment criteria
make sure the language used in the rubric is clear and well-defined
have other students describe it the way they see it
Students don’t understand the differences between grading levels
relate the levels to observable things
well-defined breaks between levels
each level can receive a single score, not a range
Why use rubrics?
If we want students to think critically and not just memorize information we need to implement more assessments that just multiple choice exams
Makes the standards and expectation very clear for the student
Way for students to check their progress as they work on assignment (guide)
Final checkpoint for students before turning in an assignment
Used to grade the assignments fairly across the board
the more precise your rubric is, the easier the grading portion will be
if any student is confused about their grade, it’s an easy reference point
Can be tailored for different assignments to highlight specific qualities and learning objectives.
Include a comments area at the bottom of your rubric to constructively inform students of their performance on the assignment
For scoring levels: provide them with real world implications of work done at that level (publishable in peer-reviewed journal)
Look at previous rubrics for similar projects (even online)
Online rubric generators!
The last thing we want is to scare students away from alternative forms of assessment (not multiple choice tests) so be as clear and precise in defining the criteria and grading.