To evaluate student performance, you can select an existing rubric or create a new one.
Follow these guidelines before implementing:
- Decide whether the rubric addresses the most important aspects of student performance or the course objectives to be measured.
- Decide whether the rubric includes anything extraneous. If so, change the rubric or use a different one.
- See if a rubric from a different subject area can be adapted to fit your needs. Reading rubrics can often be used to assess listening, writing rubrics may be adapted to assess speaking, and fine arts rubrics can sometimes be applied to several different art forms.
- Make sure the rubric is clear.
- Test the rubric out on some actual samples of student work.
- Feel free to combine or modify rubrics to make them work better.
Creating a rubric
Follow these steps to create a new rubric:
- Clearly define the assignment, including the topic, the process that students will work through, and the product they are expected to produce.
- Determine the key components that you are interested in such as coherence, content, and organization for a writing assignment.
- Decide what type of rubric to use (holistic/general, holistic/task specific, analytic/general, analytic/task specific) based on the type of assignment and what you are interested in evaluating. (more)
- Clearly define key components. For example, what do you mean by coherence? What does coherent writing look like?
- Establish clear and detailed standards for performance for each component.
- Determine what the different levels of performance look like within each category of assessment. Think of the lowest, middle-range, and highest level of performance.
- After you write your first paragraph of the highest level, circle the words in that paragraph that can vary.
- These words will be the ones that you will change as you write the less than top-level performances.
- Avoid relying on comparative language when distinguishing among performance levels. For example, don’t define the highest level of performance as thorough and accurate and the middle level as less thorough and less accurate. Find qualities and descriptors that are unique to each performance standard.
- Concept words that covey various degree of performance:
- Depth... Breadth... Quality... Scope... Extent... Complexity... Degrees... Accuracy
- Presence to absence
- Complete to incomplete
- Many to some to none
- Major to minor
- Consistent to inconsistent
- Frequency: always to generally to sometimes to rarely
- Develop a scoring scale
- Determine how many score levels you want to use based on the performance standards you set in step five.
- Clearly define the difference between the score levels.
- The scoring scale should be consistent across all key components for an analytic rubric. For example, a score of 4 for one area should be comparable to a score of 4 in another area.
Involve students in the development process:
One strategy for developing a rubric is allowing students to participate in the development process. When students are involved, the assignment itself becomes more meaningful.
For existing rubrics:
- Ask students to give feedback on or to add more detail to the rubric.
For creating a new rubric:
- After clearly defining the assignment for the students, they can follow the guidelines outlined above to create a rubric.
- Depending on your preference you may or may not want to provide the students with the key components of the assignment and the type of rubric to create.
- Students can either work in teams or as a whole class.
- If students work in teams, you may want to let the students use team-based rubrics or have a class discussion about the team rubrics to reach consensus on one rubric for all students in the class.
- To ease in the development process, provide students with examples of rubrics, a rubric template and previous examples of student work if available.