B. Creating a Rubric
Authentic, performance-based learning is a great way to make learning
meaningful to students and to encourage them to be creative, innovative,
and constructive. However, assessing student projects can
sometimes be a problem because there is no clear-cut answer or solution.
For this reason, rubrics have become increasingly popular.
Most rubrics consist of objectives, performance characteristics,
and points or scores that indicate the degree to which the objectives
were met. Rubrics should be introduced to the students at
the very beginning of a project unit -- either present the rubric
to the class or collaborate with the students to structure the
Rubrics allow students to understand the criteria for assessment
before they start the project. Rubrics also help to make the evaluation
of the project more objective and consistent. To view the
process of creating a rubric with a student, watch the video Assessing
Project-Based Work from the Edutopia website (edutopia.org).
Assessing Project Based Work:
There are three basic categories of rubrics for performance assessment:
checklists, rating scales, and holistic scoring (Kubiszyn &
Borich, 2003). Each category has advantages, disadvantages,
and appropriate applications for classrooms.
Checklists contain a list of behaviors or specific
steps, which can be marked as Present/Absent, Complete/Incomplete,
Yes /No, etc. In some cases, a teacher will use a checklist to observe
the students. In other cases, students use checklists to ensure
that they have completed all of the steps and considered all of
the possibilities. For example, the checklist at the Blue
Rubric from the Center for Technology in Learning is an observation
checklist a teacher could use to assess students' science experiments.
Whereas, the Multimedia
Mania Checklist is designed for self-assessment by students.
Checklists help to provide structure for students
and they are great tools to use when you want to note the completion
of a task, but do not need to assign a rating scale. Checklists
can be created in word processors, spreadsheets, or by using online
tools such as the Checklist
Maker at Project-Based Learning. Here's a note about the Checklist
Completing class projects can be fun for your students, especially if they know exactly what is needed. Creating guidelines can be time-consuming though, so we've made a way for you to do it in no time! To make a project checklist for your students, first choose the grade level for the type of project you want your students to do. You can choose from writing, presentation, multimedia, or science projects. On the next page, choose from our list of project guidelines, and make a checklist with the touch of a button! (http://pblchecklist.4teachers.org/checklist.shtml)
Rubrics with Rating Scales
Rubrics with rating scales are very popular and effective
for performance assessment. Rating scales are used when a
simple Yes/No or Present/Absent is not adequate for measuring the
performance or product. The scales can include terms (such as novice,
intermediate, and proficient), and they might include specific point
Follow these steps to create a rubric with a rating
- Select the performance target (based on your objectives
- Define the performance task (outline all expectations)
- Determine the dimensions that will be assessed. For example,
if you are creating a rubric for assessing a research paper, you
might evaluate the research, content, mechanics, and style.
- For each of the dimensions, identify at least three different
"degrees" of performance. The more detail you can include,
the better. For example, if one dimension is "research"
the degrees might include: Exemplary=at least 5 sources; Intermediate=at
least 3 sources; and Novice=less than 3 sources.
- Assign points (numbers) and/or words (e.g., novice, intermediate,
proficient) as the scale to evaluate the learning outcomes.
- Add a column to record the score for each dimension, as well
as a row for the total score.
- Distribute copies of the rubric to students when they begin
the task -- that way they will know exactly how they will be assessed.
1 = Novice
2 = Intermediate
3 = Exemplary
|Less than 3 reputable resources are cited
||At least 3 reputable resources are cited
||At least 5 reputable resources are cited
|Content is incomplete and inaccurate
||Content is accurate, but incomplete
||Content is accurate and complete
|More than four spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors are
||Three or four spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors are
||Less than three spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors are
|Events jump around, start and end are unclear
||Events are somewhat jumpy
||Events are logically ordered, sharp sense of beginning and
Sample Rubric with Rating Scale
The power of rubrics should not be underestimated.
They are extremely effective for many classroom activities, including
assessments of essays, oral presentations, group projects, and other
Sometimes a rubric is scored holistically, meaning
there is one overall score instead of discrete dimensions. For example,
the short response items for FCAT Reading and Mathematics are scored
holistically on a 0-2 scale (see below). The extended responses
are scored on a 0-4 scale.
|The response indicates that the student has a complete understanding
of the reading concept embodied in the task. The student has
provided a response that is accurate, complete, and fills all
the requirements of the task. Necessary support and or examples
are included, and the information is clearly text-based.
|The response indicates that the student has a partial understanding
of the reading concept embodied in the task. The student has
provided a response that includes information that is essentially
correct and text-based, but the information is too general or
too simplistic. Some of the support and/or examples and requirements
of the task may be incomplete or embedded.
|The response is inaccurate, confused, and/or irrelevant, or
the student has failed to respond to the task.
Holistic Rubric for FCAT Reading Short Responses.
Holistic scales are used when one, overall score is
more important than sub-scores for specific categories. Holistic
scales are often used for performances, such as dance or music.
Although holistic scales can be easier to create and easier to score,
they do not provide the amount of feedback that is possible with
a rating scale that includes multiple dimensions.