Rubrics as Assessment Tools Applications in Academia
Rubrics as Assessment Tools • Rubric: a set of rating criteria that are used to categorize and assess both tangibles (products) and intangibles (behavior) that vary along a defined continuum.
What do Rubrics Do? Generally rubrics specify the level of performance expected for several levels of quality. These levels of quality may be written as. . .
contd. • Ratings (e.g., “Excellent”, “Good”, “Needs Improvement”), or • Numerical scores(e.g., 4, 3, 2, 1). . .
Contd. which are then added up to form a totalscore or final grade (e.g., A, B, C, etc).
What Can Rubrics be Used For? Rubrics can be used to assess the quality of virtually anything that can be measured: 1. Written works: Essays Reports (technical, financial, research) Portfolios
contd. 2. Manufactured products: Hardware and software Capital equipment Consumables 3. Performance criteria: Productivity (per capita output) Quality control
contd. 4. Behaviors Teamwork Problem Solving Conflict Resolution
Rubrics Have a Variety of Strengths • They help define the expectations that are to be measured. • They help identify students’ EI strengths and areas that need to be developed.
Strengths, contd. • Rubrics are criterion-referenced rather than norm-referenced - they ask “Did student X meet the criteria for an “A” paper?” rather than “How did a student’s general performance stack up against those of his peers?”
Strengths, contd. • Rubrics can provide a fairer, more comprehensive assessment compared to traditional “right” or “wrong” evaluations such as exams. • Students can use rubrics to assess their own work, or their peers can rate their work.
Strengths, contd. • Rubrics assess practical, transferable skills compared to the traditional grading systems. Some of the these skills are core skills – they can become a part of “who the student is”.
Rubric Examples, Academia • Writing and Mathematics Outcomes, Johnson County Community College • Gordon Paper Criteria (modified by Prokopp)
Rubrics at the Program Level Case Study: Inver Hills Community College. The LS/PS program A rubric-based program that assesses students’ achievements in 10 Essential Skills.
Inver Hills, contd. • Voluntary program for students and faculty. • Encompasses 75 different courses and includes over 1000 students. • Was designed to incorporate traditional liberal arts instruction with skill-based assessment.
Inver Hills, contd. • Ten Essential skills allow students to perform successfully in: The business environment The community The academic environment
Inver Hills, contd. • The 10 essential Skills: See overhead
Inver Hills, contd. Essential skills develop and measure: • Critical thinking • Social skills (collaboration) • Evaluation skills (finding and evaluating new information) • Presentation skills
How the LS/PS Program Works. • Each Essential Skill (ES) has 5 subcategories, each measuring a specific part of the ES (example: Appreciation). • Each Essential Skill is placed in a Skill Grid, which shows 5 different Levels ofMastery for each subcategory.
LS/PS program, contd. • Instructor chooses assignments based upon the Essential Skills that are relevant to the course. • Instructor selects the target Level ofMastery, indicating the instructor’s performance expectations. • Students are given specific Essential Skill rubrics, which rate their performance on a level of 1 – 4.
LS/PS program, contd. • Instructor enters points earned for each skill into a database that averages and graphs the student’s progress in a SkillProfile. Result: The Skill Profile replaces the traditional letter grade transcript.
How the 10 Essential Skills Were Identified Independent studies: • The SCANS (Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills) report prepared by the American Society for Training and Development. • The Commission on Skills of the American Workforce
Development of LS/PS Program • 1996: Group of IHCC faculty discuss adapting Minnesota Skills Profile, developed for use @ IHCC. • 1997: LS/PS adopted as tool to measure student learning. Faculty develop specific components of 10 Essential Skills & rubrics
Development, contd. • 1998: Pilot program begins with 200 students. • 2000: 35 faculty, teaching 75 skills-based courses, with 1000 students. Faculty report success at several national conferences. 2000: IHCC selected by the League of Innovation as one of 16 colleges to participate in the 21st Century Learning Outcomes Project.
Why Create the LS/PS Program? • Demand from the public, accrediting agencies, educational institutions and employers re: achievement accountability. • Essential skills are practical, relevant, and transferrable.