Assessment Education

Creating Rubrics for assessment

Tests have evolved from general grading to multidimensional sets of scoring, as have the teaching pedagogies from text book-oriented learning to competency-based learning. For a student-centered approach, for a continuous and comprehensive evaluation, rubrics can inform and inspire students’ performance.

What is Rubric?

A rubric is a measuring tool that defines the parameters that are used to compare and quantify a performance, behaviour, or product. This authentic grading method, rubric, calculates students’ results based on the sum of a full set of criteria rather than a single numerical rating. The tool’s unique feature is that students and teachers collaborate before beginning the assignment to frame the criteria, incorporate student feedback, and improve the tool’s validity and reliability. This will take the form of a matrix, with each criterion having three to five levels of achievement.

Rubrics are preferred over norm-referenced assessments because they are criterion-referenced. When norm-referenced evaluations, such as tests and quizzes, include a single correct answer, criterion-based assessments are used to determine how well a person meets the task’s requirements. When a group works together to create a rubric, it encourages shared standards and grading practices.

Parts of a rubric

Rubrics are composed of four basic parts namely, task description, scale, dimensions and description of dimensions. Task description is the title of the task assigned by the teacher on which students are expected to perform. The Scale provides the levels of performance. It helps in assessing how well or poorly students performed a specific assignment. Beginners who are attempting to construct a rubric often start with three levels of success, which they later expand to five. The Dimensions show the assignment’s learning objectives.
The instructor divides each task into different dimensions and assigns a weight to each dimension to emphasise its importance. It assists students in comprehending the various
components of a task as well as the skills they must demonstrate when performing a task. The Description of the Dimensions goes into greater detail on what to expect for each dimension on the scale. This takes a great deal of time to develop, as it requires the teacher to clearly express expectations.

Types of rubrics

Rubrics are mainly of two types, analytic and holistic. For holistic rubrics, the levels of achievement are listed down in the first column, and the descriptions of each level of achievement for all criteria are listed in a second column. It lists three to five levels of
performance, along with a broad description of the characteristics that define each level. The levels can be labelled with numbers (such as 1 through 5), letters (such as A through F) or words (such as Beginning through Exemplary). A holistic rubric provides a single score based on an overall impression of a student’s performance on a task. Creating a holistic rubric takes less time and grading is faster. The main disadvantage of a holistic rubric is that it doesn’t provide targeted feedback to students, which means they’re unlikely to learn much from the assignment.

How to develop rubrics?

The instructor must first decide and articulate the learning outcomes (concepts, abilities, and so on) that will be evaluated, as well as the type of rubric that will be used. The next step is to identify the requirements and establish performance standards. Based on the rubric, specific and measurable description has to be given underneath the performance levels. Before implementing teachers have to discuss about the rubrics with students to see where their students are and where they need to change. The validity of the tool is increased as students take ownership of their learning, understand teachers’ expectations and take actions to improve their performance. Sharing and reviewing the rubric with colleagues will help determine its reliability.

Rubrics are a commonly used method for evaluation today, but only a small percentage of teachers use them, and a substantial number of teachers are unfamiliar. Rubrics that are properly designed and implemented provide timely and detailed reviews, promote critical thinking, and clearly display areas of students’ strength and weakness.

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