Creating rubrics


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  • Checklists do not reflect developmental—indicates only presence or lack of a trait
  • An overall judgment. Generally speaking, not recommended for classroom use because of diagnostic limitations. If our goal is to give students feedback on performance, the more specific, the better.
  • Analytic and holistic can be combined—sum of analytical scores =integration or holistic score. Or add scores and take average for holistic representation
  • If you’re going to invest the effort necessary to make a good rubric, be sure that you can use it in a range of situations. Make a template for kind of product or performance. Adjust accordingly. Departmental, grade level, cross-curricular input Consistency of expectation, language; track students across performances
  • This is the other extreme of too many task-specific rubrics. A project rubric should not be used to assess everything from a digital montage to a PowerPoint presentation on market economics. Yet, there are excellent resources available for you to adapt. Evaluate the resources available on the Web—don’t just use one because it is “free” and don’t think because it’s in a textbook that it is good! Find the middle ground—a template that you can adjust and tweak according to the specifications of a given task.
  • This includes educational jargon! Avoid sole adjective descriptors such as “inadequate” and avoid adjectives of “averageness”—below, above. The lowest score should describe what a novice, not “bad” performance looks like. Wordiness—often happens when groups devise—includes a little something for everyone
  • What’s important?
  • Not so much an issue of diction as describing the concrete behaviors and evidence of critical thinking Creativity= uses ideas from others (Developing), modifies ideas implemented by others (Basic), composition is self-generated (Proficient), composition is unique and imaginative(Advanced)--Myra
  • Actual traits that constitute good or poor persuasion, problem-solving. Be careful not to bury criteria—here is where some people find that their rubrics do not match their expectations—be sure that the descriptor is not a criterion and vice versa
  • 4 or 6 recommended Even recommended for delineating proficiency---Unless you want an equivocal position. Even number requires a decision between almost there and “barebones.” No implied levels.
  • You may also want students to self-assess and even use highlighters to document their claims.
  • In their hands at beginning. Use as revision tool. Give a quiz (Veronika!) Add self-assess column and defense piece or use as revision activity—highlight where it is
  • .
  • See “cookie”
  • Eliminate criteria that do not reflect your assignment.
  • Content criteria repeats phrasing on assignment sheet. Comments allows teacher to “justify” any score not a “4.”
  • The content is the meat of the project—what are the requirements for successful content for a lab report in science, a pen and ink portrait, a character sketch, a PowerPoint presentation, a math problem? Brainstorm other adjectives that specifically describe what you expect of ANY content. Now use these as a bank from which to draw and insert them in your template.
  • Creating rubrics

    1. 1. Tips For Effective Rubric DesignHow to:  Design a rubric that does its job  Write precise criteria and descriptors  Make your rubric student-friendly
    2. 2. Expert Input Experts agree: – Rubrics are hard to design. – Rubrics are time-consuming to design. – “A rubric is only as useful as it is good. Using a bad rubric is a waste of time…” --Michael Simkins in “Designing Great Rubrics” Experts disagree: – How to design a “good” rubric – Bottom line: Is it working for you and for your students?
    3. 3. The CookieTask: Make a chocolate chip cookie that I would want to eat.Criteria: Texture, Taste, Number of Chocolate Chips, RichnessRange of performance: – Delicious(14-16 pts) – Tasty(11-13 pts) – Edible(8-10 pts) – Not yet edible(0-7 pts)
    4. 4. Analytic Homemade Cookie Rubric Delicious Tasty Edible Not yet 4 3 2 edible 1 # chips Chips in 75% chips 50% chips Less than every bite 50% chips texture Consistently Chewy Crunchy Like a dog chewy middle, biscuit crispy edges color Even golden Brown with All brown Burned brown pale center Or all pale richness Buttery, high Medium fat Low-fat Nonfat fat flavor flavor
    5. 5. Assess The Cookie Overall score – Delicious – Tasty – Edible – Not yet edible By criteria – Number of chips – Texture – Taste – Richness
    6. 6. Holistic Rubric Views product or performance as a whole; describes characteristics of the product or performance according criteria expressing “what counts””: Each holistic criterion is expressed in a summary statement for each score level. Levels of performance range from highest (Level 4) to lowest (Level 0) See example in your text, p. 133
    7. 7. Sample: Holistic Cookie RubricCookie Scored at the “Delicious” level (4) Chips in every bite Consistently chewy Even golden brown Buttery, high fatYou must then make a summary statement for levels 3, 2, & 1.
    8. 8. Pros & Cons: Holistic Rubric+ Takes less time to create.+ Effectively determines a “not fully developed” performance as a whole.+ Efficient for large group scoring; less time to assess.- Not diagnostic.- Student may exhibit traits at two or more levels at the same time.
    9. 9. Analytic RubricSeparate facets of performance are defined, independently valued, and scored. See example in text, p. 135.Example: In music performance, skill might be string improvisation.Each facet of “string improvisation” would be scored separately:  melody  harmonics  rhythm  bowing & backup  confidence
    10. 10. Pros & Cons: Analytic Rubric+ Sharper focus on target+ Specific feedback (matrix)+ Instructional emphasis- Time consuming to articulate components and to find language clear enough to define performance levels effectively
    11. 11. Tip #1Don’t make task-specific rubrics.  Less efficient  Make one that can be used for two or more products or performances.  “Generalizable” or template rubric
    12. 12. Tip #2Don’t use published generic or “canned” rubricswithout careful consideration of their qualityand appropriateness for your project. These are your students, not someone else’s. Your students have received your instruction.
    13. 13. Tip #3 Avoid dysfunctional detail. – “…in most instances, lengthy rubrics probably can be reduced to succinct…more useful versions for classroom instruction. Such abbreviated rubrics can still capture the key evaluative criteria needed to judge students’ responses. Lengthy rubrics, in contrast, will gather dust” – Dysfunctional detail also includes jargon, negativity
    14. 14. Tip #4Limit the number of criteria But, don’t combine independent criteria. E.g. One criterion that includes “Very clear” and “very organized” will often be problematic. The product may be clear but not organized or vice versa.
    15. 15. Tips #5 and #6Don’t define levels of quality in vague terms,e.g.  ABSTRACT:“poorly organized”  CONCRETE: – Organization:  sharply focused thesis,  topic sentences clearly connected to thesis,  logical ordering of paragraphs,  conclusion ends with clincher  ABSTRACT: “inventive” “creative” “imaginative”  CONCRETE: ?? Key Question to ask yourself: What does that look like?
    16. 16. Tips #5 and #6Use measurable criteria. – Specify what quality or absence looks like vs. comparatives (“not as thorough as”) or value language (“excellent content”) – Highlight the impact of the performance: Was the paper persuasive or problem solved? (Note importance of a statement of purpose for the assignment here!) – List the traits of effective persuasion. – Be sure that the descriptor is not the criterion and vice versa
    17. 17. Tip #7Aim for an even number ofperformance/product levels – Create continuum between least and most – Define poles and work inward – List skills and traits consistently across levels
    18. 18. Tip #8 May include students in creating or adapting rubrics by listing criteria for “What Counts.” Consider using “I” in the descriptors in the criterion statement: I followed APA documentation format: – precisely—consistently—inconsistently— I did not follow MLA documentation format.
    19. 19. Tip #9 Motivate students to use your rubric as they prepare their product or performance: “At their very best, rubrics are also teaching tools that support student learning . . . ” (13 y.o. student). Do students understand the criteria and descriptors? How do you know? When do you give the rubric to your students?
    20. 20. Tip #10Provide models of products/performances thatrepresent different performance levels.
    21. 21. The Assignment Sheet Connect the rubric you prepared to the assignment guidelines: Use same language in each! Project/paper/presentation must meet all requirements of assignment – Due date and late penalty – Format requirements – Non-negotiables
    22. 22. Use the Rubric for Draft Reviews or the“Check-in” Stage of PreparationUse your rubric as a formative assessment togive students feedback about how they aredoing. – Isolate a particularly challenging aspect – Have student isolate an area of difficulty – Center revision instruction around rubric
    23. 23. Steps in Developing & Using Rubrics Design backwards—rubric first; then product/performance. Decide on the criteria for the product or performance to be assessed. Write a definition or make a list of concrete descriptors for each criterion. Develop a continuum for describing the range of performance for each criterion. Keep track of strengths and weaknesses of rubric as you use it to assess student work. Step back; ask yourself, “What didn’t I make clear instructionally?” The weakness may not be the rubric.
    24. 24. Steps in Modifying a “Canned”Rubric Find a rubric that most closely matches your performance task. Evaluate and adjust to reflect your instruction, language, expectations, content, students – Criteria – Descriptors – Performance levels
    25. 25. When to Use RubricsUsually with a relatively complex assignment,such as a long-term project, and essay, orresearch-based product. – Informative feedback about work in progress – Detailed evaluations of final projects
    26. 26. The Mini-Rubric These are the quick ones. Fewer criteria and shorter descriptions of quality – Yes/no checklists – Describe proficient level of quality and leave other boxes for commentary during grading. – Use for small products or processes:  Poster  Outline  Journal entry  Class activity
    27. 27. Sample Mini-rubric for an Assignmentcalled a “Vocabulary Poster”Content criterion (50%) 4 3 2 1____ written explanation of denotation is accurate & thorough____ examples in action are accurate & of sufficient variety____ visual symbol or cartoon conveys accurate and clear word meaning____ wordplay is accurate and thorough: weighs synonyms for subtleties of meaning;Presentation criterion (50%) 4,3,2,1--neat 4,3,2,1--clear organizational pattern 4,3,2,1--no error in Conventions 4,3,2,1--uses visual space to catch and hold attentionScore = Content__+Presentation___divided by 2=______GRADE
    28. 28. Caution Don’t let the rubric stand alone! ALWAYS, ALWAYS provide specific “Comments” on your rubric and/or on the student product itself.
    29. 29. Useful Criteria Across TheCurriculum: Content Descriptors or indicators R/T content: – Relevant – Specific – Thorough – Synthesized – Balanced – Convincing – Accurate
    30. 30. Useful Criteria Across theCurriculum: ResearchDescriptors or indicators R/T research: – Uses variety of sources (primary, secondary, electronic, traditional, human)  Note: Watch minimums—Is minimum “minimal” or is minimum “proficient”? – Uses appropriate sources (credible, timely, scholarly) – Documents sources accurately
    31. 31. Useful Criteria Across theCurriculum: FormatDescriptors or indicators R/T format:LogicalSequentialAccording to assignment guidelinesAccording to standards (e.g. APA Style)
    32. 32. The Best Rubrics  Analytic and holistic  Developmental  “Generalizable” and specific  Instructional The best rubrics WORK for students and teachers!
    33. 33. AcknowledgmentsThis Slidecast was adapted from “Tips for Effective Rubric Design” rics.pptI am grateful to the unnamed author who also acknowledged the assistance of Joyce, Myra, Veronica, & Jeff.