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Tips For Effective Rubric Design

Tips For Effective Rubric Design. How to: design a rubric that does its job write precise criteria and descriptors make your rubric student-friendly. Expert Input. Experts agree: Rubrics are hard to design. Rubrics are time-consuming to design.

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Tips For Effective Rubric Design

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  1. Tips For Effective Rubric Design How to: design a rubric that does its job write precise criteria and descriptors make your rubric student-friendly

  2. Expert Input Experts agree: • Rubrics are hard to design. • Rubrics are time-consuming to design. • “A rubric is only as useful as it is good. Using a bad rubric is a waste of time…” --Michael Simkins in “Designing Great Rubrics” Experts disagree: • how to design a “good” rubric Bottom line: Is it working for you and for your students?

  3. The Cookie Task: Make a chocolate chip cookie that I would want to eat. Criteria: Texture, Taste, Number of Chocolate Chips, Richness Range of performance: • Delicious(14-16 pts) • Tasty(11-13 pts) • Edible(8-10 pts) • Not yet edible(0-7 pts)

  4. The Rubric

  5. Assess The Cookie • Overall score • Delicious • Tasty • Edible • Not yet edible • By criteria • Number of chips • Texture • Taste • Richness

  6. Oops, What Went Wrong? • Did the “product” match expectations? • Effective rubrics don’t exist in a vacuum. • The good news…

  7. Holistic Or Analytic—Which To Use? HOLISTIC—views product or performance as a whole; describes characteristics of different levels of performance. Criteria are summarized for each score level. (level=degree of success—e.g., 4,3,2,1 or “Tasty”) (criteria= what counts, facets of performance—e.g., research or number of chips or presentation)

  8. Holistic Or Analytic? HOLISTIC—pros and cons +Takes less time to create. Well… +Effectively determines a “not fully developed” performance as a whole +Efficient for large group scoring; less time to assess - Not diagnostic - Student may exhibit traits at two or more levels at the same time.

  9. Holistic Example Cookie Delicious level (4) • Chips in every bite • Consistently chewy • Even golden brown • Buttery, high fat

  10. Holistic Or Analytic? Analytic=Separate facets of performance are defined, independently valued, and scored. Example: Music—skill=string improvisation development Facets scored separately: melody; harmonics; rhythm; bowing & backup; confidence

  11. Holistic Or Analytic? Analytic—pros and cons +Sharper focus on target +Specific feedback (matrix) +Instructional emphasis -Time consuming to articulate components and to find language clear enough to define performance levels effectively

  12. Sample Of Analytic Rubric See Packet

  13. The Debate • Is the whole the sum of its parts? Wiggle room or valid criterion— Overall Development Overall Impression Overall impact (See “purpose”) Thomas Newkirk Weighting Number range (70-74 or 70-79)

  14. Tip #1 • Don’t make task-specific rubrics. • Efficiency issue • Two heads or three or four or five… • Make one, get two or three or four… • “Generalizable” or template rubric • Unless you need it for tomorrow… (See Tip #8)

  15. Tip #2 • Don’t use generic or “canned” rubrics without careful consideration of their quality and appropriateness for your project. • These are your students, not someone else’s. • Your students have received your instruction.

  16. Tip #3 • Avoid dysfunctional detail. • “…in most instances, lengthy rubrics probably can be reduced to succinct…more useful versions for classroom instruction. Such abbreviated rubrics can still capture the key evaluative criteria needed to judge students’ responses. Lengthy rubrics, in contrast, will gather dust” (Benjamin 23). --Includes wordiness, jargon, negativity

  17. Tip #4 • Limit the number of criteria • Well… • Don’t combine independent criteria. • “very clear” and “very organized” (may be clear but not organized or vice versa).

  18. Tips #5 and #6 • Use key, teachable “criteria” (What counts) • Don’t vaguely define levels of quality. • Concrete versus abstract • “poorly organized” (Organization: sharply focused thesis, topic sentences clearly connected to thesis, logical ordering of paragraphs, conclusion ends with clincher) • “inventive” “creative” “imaginative” UNLESS… Key Question to ask yourself: What does it look like?

  19. Tips #5 and #6 • Use measurable criteria. --Specify what quality or absence looks like vs. comparatives (“not as thorough as”) or value language (“excellent content”) ---Highlight the impact of the performance --Was the paper persuasive or problem solved? (Note importance of PURPOSE) --What are the traits of effective persuasion? --Be sure that the descriptor is not the criterion and vice versa

  20. Tip #7 • Aim for an even number of levels • Create continuum between least and most • Define poles and work inward • List skills and traits consistently across levels

  21. Tip #8 • Include students in creating or adapting rubrics • Consider using “I” in the descriptors • I followed precisely—consistently—inconsistently—MLA documentation format. • I did not follow MLA documentation format.

  22. Tip #9 • Motivate students to use rubric. Instructional rubric (“Buy one, get one…”) “At their very best, rubrics are also teaching tools that support student learning…” (Andrade 13). • Do they understand the criteria and descriptors? How do you know? • When do you give the rubric to your students?

  23. Tip #10 • Provide models of the different performance levels.

  24. The Assignment Sheet • Don’t forget the importance of the assignment sheet • Connection to rubric (Use same language!) • The lawyers in your class “But the rubric doesn’t say that…” Project/paper/presentation must meet all requirements of assignment • Due date and late penalty • Format requirements • Non-negotiables • Skills and reasonable expectations

  25. Don’t Forget the Check-in Stage • Use your rubric as a formative assessment to give students feedback about how they are doing. • Isolate a particularly challenging aspect • Have student isolate an area of difficulty • Center revision instruction around rubric

  26. Steps in Developing a Rubric • Design backwards—rubric first; then product/performance. • Decide on the criteria for the product or performance to be assessed. • Write a definition or make a list of concrete descriptors—identifiable-- for each criterion. • Develop a continuum for describing the range of performance for each criterion. • Keep track of strengths and weaknesses of rubric as you use it to assess student work. • Revise accordingly. • Step back; ask yourself, “What didn’t I make clear instructionally?” The weakness may not be the rubric.

  27. Steps in Modifying a “Canned” Rubric • Find a rubric that most closely matches your performance task. • Evaluate and adjust to reflect your instruction, language, expectations, content, students • Criteria • Descriptors • Performance levels

  28. It’s hard work… • Expect to revise…and revise… • One problem is that the rubric must cover all potential performances; each should fit somewhere on the rubric. • “There are no final versions, only drafts and deadlines.” • When you’ve got a good one, SHARE IT!

  29. When to use these rubrics • Usually with a relatively complex assignment, such as a long-term project, and essay, or research-based product. • Informative feedback about work in progress • Detailed evaluations of final projects

  30. The Mini-Rubric • These are the quick ones. Fewer criteria and shorter descriptions of quality • Yes/no checklists • Describe proficient level of quality and leave other boxes for commentary during grading. • Use for small products or processes: • Poster • Outline • Journal entry • Class activity

  31. Mini-rubric Example Vocabulary Poster Purpose: to inform Content criterion (50%) 4 3 2 1 ____written explanation of denotation—accuracy/thoroughness ____examples in action—accuracy/variety ____visual symbol or cartoon conveys word meaning— accuracy/clarity ____wordplay---weighs synonyms for subtleties of meaning--accuracy/thoroughness Presentation criterion (50%) 4,3,2,1--neat 4,3,2,1--clear organizational pattern 4,3,2,1--no error in Conventions 4,3,2,1--uses visual space to catch and hold attention Score= Content__+Presentation___divided by 2=______GRADE Comments:

  32. Miscellaneous Suggestions #1--Describe proficient level of quality and leave other boxes for commentary during grading. #2--“Box” the acceptable—proficient—level #3--Translate the rubric’s 4,3,2,1 into number that represents middle of grade range (e.g., B=84) OR, give a point range (e.g., A=90 (indicates just made category) BUT A=95 (indicates solid in category

  33. Caution Don’t let the rubric stand alone: ALWAYS, ALWAYS provide specific “Comments” on your rubric and/or on the student product itself.

  34. Sentence Stems To establish 4 levels of performance, try sentence stems. Example: • Yes, I used surface texture and deep carvings effectively to create individualizing detail. • Yes, I used surface texture and deep carvings, but I needed to include more for individualizing detail. • No, I did not use surface texture, but I did use deep carvings –or vice, versa—to create some individualizing detail. • No, I did not use surface texture or deep carvings.

  35. Rubric Criterion Across The Curriculum • Content (substance, support, proof, details) • Relevant • Specific • Thorough • Synthesized • Balanced • Convincing • Accurate

  36. Rubric Criterion Across the Curriculum • Research • Uses variety of sources (primary, secondary, electronic, traditional, human) • Note: Watch minimums—Is minimum “minimal” or is minimum “proficient”? • Uses appropriate sources (credible, timely, scholarly) • Documents sources accurately

  37. The Best Rubrics • Analytic and holistic • Developmental • “Generalizable” and specific • Instructional The best rubrics WORK for students and teachers!

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