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How to Create Meaningful Rubrics for Student Assessment


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Presented by Aimee F. Strang, Pharm.D., MS-HPEd, Assistant Dean of Curricular Assessment, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Rubrics are powerful assessment tools. Well written rubrics guide student learning and provide formative feedback for improvement. However, creating valid rubrics can be a challenge. This presentation will focus on how to create rubrics within the ExamSoft suite of software, and tips for making them as useful as possible. Topics include selecting appropriate criteria, creating differentiating descriptions, and assigning grading schemas. Emphasis will be placed on ensuring rubrics measure student learning as defined by the course objectives.

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How to Create Meaningful Rubrics for Student Assessment

  1. 1. Creating Meaningful Rubrics for Student Assessment Aimee F. Strang, Pharm.D., MSHPEd Assistant Dean of Curricular Assessment
  2. 2. Objectives  Recognize common flaws  Describe characteristics of good criteria  Write descriptions that distinguish levels of performance  Use ExamSoft to assign grades  Ensure rubrics evaluate learning 2
  3. 3. 3 Criteria Levels of Performance
  4. 4. Benefits of Rubrics  Performance assessment  Authentic assessment  Scoring guide  Grader consistency  Guide student learning  Formative assessment 4
  5. 5. Part I: How to Create a Rubric 5
  6. 6. 1. Focus on the Learning, Not the Activity  Start with the learning objectives  Create an assignment that demonstrates performance of understanding  Be wary of engaging busy work LO: Analyze current trends that affect faculty and institutions in academic health professions  Create a jeopardy game  Create a poster presentation 6
  7. 7. 2. Select Good Performance Criteria  Demonstrate evidence of learning or meeting objective (not achievement of assignment tasks)  Criteria can be named, defined, described and observed  Vary along a continuum of quality  Unidimensional or distinct LO: Triage a patient to the appropriate level of care  History  Medication History  Triage  Communication 7
  8. 8. 3. Differentiate Levels of Performance  Start with a description of minimum proficiency  Describe a continuum  Yes  Yes but  No but  No  How many levels? LO: Recommend most appropriate cold medication to a patient  Medication choice 8
  9. 9. 4. Quality Check  Grade past assignment  Get peer feedback  Get student feedback  Make improvements each time 9
  10. 10. Part II:  How NOT to Create a Rubric 10
  11. 11.  Don’t Measure More Than 1 Criteria at a Time Originality • Develops a project that is unique specifically targeting a select population • Project presentation delivery is designed for a select population • Develops a project that targets a select population • Project presentation delivery is generic • Develops a generic project • Project does not target a select population Professional Language • Appropriate use of professional language and lay terms identified as necessary for the targeted population • Spelling and grammar are correct • The balance between professional language and lay terms is inappropriate • Minimal spelling and grammar mistakes • Unprofessional language is used often (texting language) • Many spelling and grammar mistakes 11
  12. 12.  Don’t Create Criterion for Nonessential Features  Neatness  Design of cover page  Audience engagement  Format of references 12
  13. 13.  Don’t Score by Counting 13 Critical Elements Missing four or more of the following: • Background & description • Market analysis and strategy • Operational structure and process • Financial projections and feasibility • Action plan for implementation • Critical risks and opportunities • Conclusion/summary Missing less than 4 Includes all of the following
  14. 14.  Don’t Score Things Not Part of the Rubric Professionalism Acted in a professional manner (eye contact, empathy, open posture) Acted professional but needs some improvement Acted professionally but need significant improvement Did not act professionally 14
  15. 15.  Don’t Score the Product 15 Assignment Rubric Criterion Reflect on today’s learning Stages of reflection Write paper on history of pharmacy Organization, spelling, length Counsel patient on use of eye drops Introduction, body language, eye contact
  16. 16.  Don’t Codify Assignment Directions into Rubric Performance Level Needs Improvement Satisfactory Excellent Contribution and Participation Not apparent that all the students in the group contributed. One or two people appear to have done all the work. Student dissent on levels of contribution. Apparent that some of the students contributed a fair share to the project, though some workloads varied. Students made an effort to include all group members in the process. Apparent that all students contributed equally to the project. Evident that students worked with each other in a cooperative manner and split the project to match the student’s strengths. 16
  17. 17.  Don’t Evaluative 17
  18. 18.  Quality Check  Get 10-20 copies of student past work  Sort in to 3 categories of quality (Excellent – Good – Poor)  Write descriptions for why each piece of work is categorized  Compare and contrast work to identify relevant criteria  Write descriptions of quality along a continuum for each criteria 18
  19. 19. Part III: Converting Rubrics to Grades 19
  20. 20. Assigning Grading Schemas  Align levels with grading (A, B, C, D, F)  Proficiency levels • Exceeds, Meets, Needs Improvement, Significant Deficiency • Beginner, Developing, Proficient, Advanced  Minimum levels of acceptability = 60%  Weighting criteria • Topic selection, Background, Analysis, Conclusion  Points vs Range 20
  21. 21. Using Points 21 FailingProficientAdvanced
  22. 22. 22 NoviceExpert Advancing Rubric A Rubric B
  23. 23. Weighting Criteria 23 Rubric B Rubric A
  24. 24. Using Ranges 24 Determine Ranges Enter Grade
  25. 25. Conclusion  Recognize common flaws  Describe characteristics of good criteria  Write descriptions that distinguish levels of performance  Use ExamSoft to assign grades  Ensure rubrics evaluate learning 25
  26. 26. Questions? Contact Information: Aimee Strang, Pharm.D., MSHPEd Assistant Dean of Curricular Assessment Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences 518-694-7320 | 26