Rubric Design MLTA Conference 2010
Why Use a Rubric? • Increase objectivity of marking process • Clarify and demystify the marking process • Explain more easily to students why they received the mark they did • Assist students to improve their work and their marks • Encourage students to become aware of and monitor their own levels of performance • Minimise the number of questions regarding expectations for assignments, performance, and marks given.
What’s the rubric for? Rubrics can be used in a number of different ways. The three most common uses are: • As a marking schema for teacher use • To provide explicit quality criteria to students about learning tasks • To provide feedback to students
Marking Schema If you are using rubrics as a marking guide only: • You may be able to use a generic rubric • You would still need to have a clear (and shared) understanding of how the grade descriptors relate to the specifics of the task • You would not provide the rubric to students; it would be a teacher tool only
Feedback to students If you are using a rubric to provide feedback to students: • It would need to reflect the task criteria • It will be accompanied by written notes from the teacher • The teacher would be available for a verbal explanation of the grade if required
Explicit Quality Criteria For a rubric to provide explanation of an assessment task to students: • It would be designed with the specific task in mind or modelled on the generic rubric and modified to express the demands of a particular task. • It would be supported with further exploration of the task requirements as part of classroom practice. • The teacher would clearly articulate their expectations to the learner, and emphasise the expectations of a high quality piece of work
Creating a Rubric – Key Steps • 1. Identify the type and purpose of the Rubric. Consider what you want to evaluate and why, and on what basis (graded or non-graded, marks or grades) • 2. Identify Distinct Criteria to be evaluated Refer to the course objectives and develop your criteria for the assignment directly from your objectives. Make sure that the distinctions between the assessment criteria are clear. • 3. Determine your levels of assessment Identify your range and scoring scales, deciding on numeric base scores, percentages or grades. • 4. Describe each level for each of the criteria, clearly differentiating between them For each criterion, differentiate clearly between the levels of expectation. Whether holistically or specifically, there should be no question as to where a product/performance would fall along the continuum of levels. (Hint: Start at the bottom (unacceptable) and top (mastery) levels and work your way “in”). • 5. Involve learners in development and effective use of the Rubric Developing the rubric in consultation with the class or discussing it with them helps them to understand your expectations and makes them explicitly aware of what and how they are learning and their responsibility in the learning process. • 6. Pre-test and retest your rubric A valid and reliable rubric is generally developed over time. Each use with a new group of learners or a colleague provides an opportunity to tweak and enhance it.
Finally… • Please take a copy of A Rubric for Rubrics. Reference: http://www.newcastle.edu.au/service/teaching-learning/projects/rubrictemplates/context.html#what • Use this to evaluate some of the rubrics we have. • As with all things, please share your practice.