Assessment made simple the Rubric way – Part 1

“But I worked all night on that report! How could you give me a D?” How many times has this question been thrown at you, with you without a convincing answer for you student?

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The problem of evaluating student performance in areas or activities that lack clear-cut ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ has been ever prevailing. However, it has become more widespread and more immediate with the surge in classroom technology and the resulting possibilities for project-based learning. Technology allows students to learn in exciting interactive ways, but it does not free teachers from their need to assess students’ work using fair, objective, and justifiable methods.

The School Support Team of Educational Initiatives has collated their expertise of creating and assessing through Rubrics in a workshop. The team is conducting these workshops in select ASSET taking schools.

Read on to find out what Rubrics are and how they can help you assess better.

Make Room for Rubrics

Rubrics make assessing student work quick and efficient. They also help teachers explain to parents and others the grades they assign. Rubrics are efficient teaching tools that support student learning and the development of sophisticated thinking skills. Used correctly, they serve the purposes of learning as well as of evaluation.

All rubrics have two features in common:

  • a list of criteria, or “what counts” in a project or assignment;
  • gradations of quality, with descriptions of strong, middling, and problematic student work.

What are Rubrics?

Rubrics are multidimensional sets of scoring guidelines that can be used to provide consistency in evaluating student work. They spell out scoring criteria so that multiple teachers, using the same rubric for a student’s essay, for example, would arrive at the same score or grade. Rubrics are used from the initiation to the completion of a student project. They provide a specific measurement system for specific tasks and are tailored for each project.

Why Use Instructional Rubrics?

Rubrics have become a recognizable trend in education. Instructional rubrics are easy to use and make sense to people just at a glance. Instructional rubrics make teachers’ expectations very clear. Traditionally, educators have kept criteria and standards to themselves. Instructional rubrics provide students with more informative feedback about their strengths and areas in need of improvement than traditional forms of assessment do. Instructional rubrics support learning.

How Do Rubrics Help?

As the projects become complex, so do the rubrics.

Rubrics help students understand what is expected from them. They demystify grades by clearly stating, in age-appropriate vocabulary, the expectations for a project. Rubrics help students see that learning is about gaining specific skills in academic subjects, in problem-solving and life skills. They also give students the opportunity to do self-assessment.

Rubrics allow the students to participate in setting the goals for a project and define what is expected from each member of a team or outcome of the project.

Rubrics help a teacher monitor the student’s learning in an authentic way. Rubrics provide a way for the student and teacher to measure the quality of project. When the student’s assessment of his/her work and the teacher’s assessment don’t agree, it’s a perfect time for a student-teacher conference.

Types of Rubrics:

Project Rubric

A project rubric lists the requirements for the completion of a project-based learning lesson. It is usually a presentation: a word document, poster, model, multimedia presentation, or combination of presentations. The teacher can create a project rubric or make it a joint process where students participate in developing rubrics. Performance assessment is an essential companion to project based learning. Projects are fun and engaging activities that act as true tests of student’s abilities and knowledge. One can choose from individual or group projects.

Team Rubric

A team rubric lets each team member know what is expected of him/her. It is a guideline. It contains detailed descriptions for tasks that will be done while the students are working as a team. It states degrees of behavior that are acceptable. It defines what will happen to a team member who is not participating. A team rubric lists actions or tasks required of each team member for the completion of a successful project:

  • Did the person participate in the planning process?
  • How involved was each member?
  • Was the team member’s work to the best of his or her ability?

Part 2 of this article will discuss how to building Rubrics and the scope of involving students in building them.

Educational Initiatives

Educational Initiatives

Founded by a group of IIMA alumni, with ample personal experience of educational institutions, Educational Initiatives (EI) is an effort to ensure every child learns with understanding.

Established in 2001, Educational Initiatives believes in making a difference in education through personalized learning and ensuring that students learn with understanding.

EI has over 15 years of expertise in education, with a deep understanding of child psychology and efficient methods of teaching, based on detailed research and a formidable database of student learning through ASSET.

Our detailed research has proven that children today respond to rote-based questions relatively well, however, they fail to answer unfamiliar or application based questions due to unclear core concepts.
Educational Initiatives