A rubric is an evaluation tool that describes the criteria for performance at various levels using demonstrative verbs. It is a performance-based assessment process that accurately reflects content skills, process skills, work habits, and learning results.
There are generally two types of rubrics: holistic and analytic. It is important to analyze the task, activity or project being assessed and determine which type of rubric is most appropriate to apply.
A holistic rubric describes a student’s work as a single score–the report or project as a whole is assigned a score. Therefore, holistic rubrics are best suited to tasks that can be performed or evaluated as a whole such as, a paper or a thesis.
Analytic rubrics specify criteria to be assessed at each performance level, provide a separate score for each criterion or outcome, and may include a composite score for overall performance. The composite score may be weighted based on the importance of each dimension.
Using rubrics focuses both students and teachers on two essential questions.
Rubrics serve several purposes in the assessment process by:
Developing rubrics is challenging. The instructor needs to translate the performance of various assignments to the rubric fairly and reliably.
Rubrics can be developed using the following 8-step process:
Step 1: Determine learning objectives to be measured.
Step 2: Create an assessment that will accurately measure the stated learning objectives.
Step 3: Define each dimension/criterion to be measured and align to learning objectives.
Step 4: Adopt a scale for describing the range of performances.
Step 5: Write a description for each dimension for each point on the scale.
Step 6: Pilot the rubric with one program or course.
Step 7: Revise the rubric as needed.
Step 8: Share the assignment and rubric with students.
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