1Using Rubrics to Grade, Assess, and Improve Student LearningStrengthening Our Roots: Quality, Opportunity & SuccessProfessional Development DayMiami-Dade CollegeMarch 7, 2014Mary J. Allen, [email protected]Academic Program AssessmentAssessmentis an on-going process designed to monitor and improve student learning. Faculty:develop explicit statements of what students should learn (student learning outcomes)require students to perform each outcomeassess how well students performed each outcomeuse results to improve student learning of each outcome (close the loop)Assessing the Evidenceusually involves subjective judgments concerning complex products or behaviorsrubrics provide the criteria to guide these subjective judgmentsRubricsRubrics provide the criteria for assessing students' work. They can be used to assess virtually anyproduct or behavior, such as essays, research reports, portfolios, works of art, recitals, oralpresentations, performances, and group activities. Judgments can be self-assessments bystudents; or judgments can be made by others, such as faculty, other students, fieldworksupervisors, and external reviewers. Rubrics can be used to clarify expectations to students, toprovide formative feedback to students, to grade students, and/or to assess courses and programs.There are two major types of rubrics:Holistic rubric — one global, holistic score for a product or behaviorAnalytic rubric — separate, holistic scoring of specified characteristics of a product orbehaviorRubric ExamplesCampus ExamplesVALUE Rubrics (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education; AAC&U)
2The rubric communicates what the outcome really meansbecause it specifies the criteria for assessing its mastery.Criterion-Referenced JudgmentsRubrics are criterion-referenced, rather than norm-referenced. Raters ask, “Did the student meetthe criteria for level 4 of the rubric?” rather than “How well did this student do compared toother students?” This is more compatible with cooperative and collaborative learningenvironments than competitive grading schemes and is essential when using rubrics for programassessment because you want to learn how well students have met your standards.Creating a Rubric1.Adapt an already-existing rubric.2.Analytic MethodDrafting a RubricI generally find it easier to start at the extremes when drafting the criteria in the rubric's cells,then move up and down to draft the levels in the middle. Starting at the lowest and highest cells,you ask:What are the characteristics of an unacceptable product, the worst product you couldimagine, a product that results when students are very weak on the outcome being assessed?