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Tips For Effective Rubric Design How to: design a rubric that does its job write precise criteria and descriptors make your rubric student-friendly
What is a Rubric? A coherent set of criteria for student work that describes levels of performance quality.
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?
The Cookie Task: Make a chocolate chip cookie that I would want to eat. Criteria: Texture, Taste, Number of Chocolate Chips, Richness Range of performance: – – – – Delicious(14-16 pts) Tasty(11-13 pts) Edible(8-10 pts) Not yet edible(0-7 pts)
The Rubric Delicious 4 Tasty 3 Edible 2 Not yet edible 1 # chips Chips in every bite 75% chips 50% chips Less than 50% chips texture Consistently chewy Chewy middle, crispy edges Crunchy Like a dog biscuit color Even golden brown Brown with pale center All brown Or all pale Burned richness Buttery, high Medium fat fat Low-fat flavor Nonfat flavor
Assess The Cookie Overall score – – – – Delicious Tasty Edible Not yet edible By criteria – – – – Number of chips Texture Taste Richness
Oops, What Went Wrong? Did the “product” match expectations? Effective rubrics don’t exist in a vacuum. The good news
Holistic Or Analytic—Which To Use? HOLISTIC—views product or performance as a whole; describes characteristics of different levels of performance. Criteria are summarized for each score level. (level degree of success—e.g., 4,3,2,1 or “Tasty”) (criteria what counts, facets of performance—e.g., research or number of chips or presentation)
Holistic Or Analytic? HOLISTIC—pros and cons Takes less time to create. Well 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.
Holistic Example Cookie Delicious level (4) Chips in every bite Consistently chewy Even golden brown Buttery, high fat
Holistic Or Analytic? Analytic Separate facets of performance are defined, independently valued, and scored. Example: Music—skill string improvisation development Facets scored separately: melody; harmonics; rhythm; bowing & backup; confidence
Holistic Or Analytic? Analytic—pros and cons 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
Sample Of Analytic Rubric See Packet
Tip #1 Don’t – – make task-specific rubrics. Efficiency issue Function as “scoring directions” for grading; not helpful to see student growth in learning Use general rubrics instead - supports learning because students see “good work” as bigger than 1 task - characteristics apply to a variety of tasks
Tip #2 Don’t use generic or “canned” rubrics without careful consideration of their quality and appropriateness for your project. These are your students, not someone else’s. Your students have received your instruction.
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” (Benjamin 23). --Includes wordiness, jargon, negativity
Tip #4 Limit – – the number of criteria What’s really important? Don’t combine independent criteria. “very clear” and “very organized” (may be clear but not organized or vice versa).
Tips #5 and #6 Use – – key, teachable “criteria” (What counts) Don’t vaguely define levels of quality. Concrete versus abstract “poorly organized” (Organization: sharply focused thesis, topic sentences clearly connected to thesis, logical ordering of paragraphs, conclusion ends with clincher) “inventive” “creative” “imaginative” (see charts) Key Question to ask yourself: What does it look like?
Tips #5 and #6 Use 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 PURPOSE) --What are the traits of effective persuasion?
Tip #7 Aim – – – for an even number of levels Create continuum between least and most Define poles and work inward List skills and traits consistently across levels
Tip #8 Include students in creating or adapting rubrics Consider using “I” in the descriptors I followed precisely—consistently—inconsistently—MLA documentation format. I did not follow MLA documentation format.
Tip #9 Motivate students to use rubric. Instructional rubric (“Buy one, get one ”) “At their very best, rubrics are also teaching tools that support student learning ” (Andrade 13). Do they understand the criteria and descriptors? How do you know? When do you give the rubric to your students?
Tip #10 Provide levels. models of the different performance
Steps in Developing a Rubric 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— identifiable-- 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. Revise accordingly. Step back; ask yourself, “What didn’t I make clear instructionally?” The weakness may not be the rubric.
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
When to use these rubrics Usually with a relatively complex assignment, such as a long-term project, and essay, or research-based product. – – Informative feedback about work in progress Detailed evaluations of final projects
Caution Don’t let the rubric stand alone: ALWAYS, ALWAYS provide specific “Comments” on your rubric and/or on the student product itself.
Sentence Stems To establish 4 levels of performance, try sentence stems. Example: Yes, I used surface texture and deep carvings effectively to create individualizing detail. Yes, I used surface texture and deep carvings, but I needed to include more for individualizing detail. No, I did not use surface texture, but I did use deep carvings –or vice, versa—to create some individualizing detail. No, I did not use surface texture or deep carvings.
Rubric Criterion Across The Curriculum Content – – – – – – – (substance, support, proof, details) Relevant Specific Thorough Synthesized Balanced Convincing Accurate
Rubric Criterion Across the Curriculum 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
The Best Rubrics Analytic and holistic Developmental “Generalizable” and specific Instructional The best rubrics WORK for students and teachers!
Works Cited/Consulted--draft Andrade, Heidi Goodrich. “Using Rubrics to Promote Thinking and Learning.” ASCD. Feb. 2000 Baggio, Christine. “Designing Rubrics: Revising Instruction and Improving Performance.” PowerPoint presentation. www.edutech.org.br. Benjamin, Amy. An English Teacher’s Guide to Performance Tasks and Rubrics. Larchmont: Eye on Education, 2000. Classroom. Assessment Framework, Grades 4-8. PDE, Fall 2002. Leavell, Alexandra. “Authentic Assessment: Using Rubrics to Evaluate ProjectBased Learning.” PowerPoint. WEBLIBRARY. Matthews, Jay. “Writing by the Rules No Easy Task.” http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A63599-2000Oct23.html . Simkins, Michael. “Designing Great Rubrics.” Technology and Learning. August 1999. Wiggins, Grant and Jay McTighe. “Tips for Developing Effective Rubrics.” Understanding by Design. ASCD,1998.