Rubric Based Assessment

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A rubric is a scoring tool that is implemented to assess the performance of the students depending on a specific set of criteria.

What is Rubric-Based Assessment?

A rubric is a useful grading tool that facilitates the teachers to evaluate the work done by students in a more

  • Consistent
  • Reliable
  • unbiased way

A well-designed rubric aids the students to identify their strengths and weaknesses and be more objective about their own quality of work. A rubric is a specified set of criteria that is implemented for assessing a particular type of performance and provides more details than a single grade/mark. Rubrics aid in grading more objectively  Rubrics are quite efficient and effective in assessing a series of performances/ assignments in a very systematic, consistent and fair manner.

Components of a rubric

A rubric consists of 3 components:

  1. Criteria: indicators of performance
  2. Levels of performance: the benchmark a student is supposed to attain
  3. Descriptors: characteristic explanation related to each criterion and the levels of performance.

Rubrics are supposed to provide valuable feedback to students/test takers on different assignments.

Types Of Rubrics

The type of rubric that is used by the teacher depends on the nature of work/performance that needs to be evaluated. Following are the rubrics that are commonly used by the authorities:

  1. Holistic: it is good for evaluating overall performance on a task. They are comparatively easier to score as only a single score is given. The level of performance is treated as a whole as they do not provide complete information on student performance on different parameters. The instructor is able to provide feedback on a specific/single dimension of an assignment only.
  2. Analytical: here every criterion is assessed separately using different measures. Each criterion is given a separate score. They take more time to score but provide detailed feedback on the student’s performance. The instructor is able to provide useful feedback on several dimensions of an assignment.  It takes more time to develop and apply an analytical rubric as compared to a holistic rubric.
  3. Generic: it is particularly implemented when students will not be doing exactly the same task. criteria are assessed separately 
  4. Task-specific: some unique tasks are assessed separately. Here it is easier and faster to get good grades.

Holistic and analytical are the 2 common types of rubrics 

Characteristics of a Good Rubric

An effective Rubric is a comprehensive assessment tool. Here, we enumerate the characteristics of an effective rubric:

  1. Well defined: a good rubric must have clearly defined requirements and the rubric should be easily traceable by the students.
  2. Gradations: the performance of the students must be quantifiable in terms of grades which should be objective in nature. the difference in score levels should be consistent that is a difference of score points from 5 to 4 should be the same as from 4 to 3.
  3. Descriptions: the rubric should be elaborate and it should be lucid for the test takers to follow.
  4. Credibility: an effective rubric should be easy to use and should lead to similar results no matter who conducts the assessment.

Advantages of Using A Rubric

An effective rubric has benefits both for the teachers as well as the students.

  • Help clarify abstract targets
  • Facilitates the students to comprehend the desired goals
  • Help students in improving their abilities
  • Motivates the students to perform better
  • It makes scoring
    • Easier
    • Faster
    • Precise
    • Impartial
    • Regular
  • Provides the students with a detailed feedback
  • Diminishes the probability of arguments with students
  • Provides useful feedback to teachers related to the strength and weaknesses of the students
  • Saves time as can be consistently applied by the examiners

How to Develop a Rubric?

The following points need to be kept in mind while constructing an efficient rubric:

  • The primary objective of the rubric: the purpose for which the rubric is developed should be well defined
  • Kind of rubric: the preference for a specific type of rubric will depend upon the nature of the assignment that has to be evaluated. 
  • Criterion: the criterion in a rubric should project quantifiable expectations related to the assignment for which the rubric is constructed.
  • Rating scale: the rating scales should clearly reflect the purpose of the rubric. The number of rating scales should be specified in the rubric
  • Descriptors: these should be quantifiable and distinguishable to clearly indicate the progression. Descriptors should be written in a consistent manner.

Rubrics are used to identify how well the students have achieved learning outcomes rather than how well they performed as compared to their fellows. Rubrics usually include quantifiable and specific descriptors that well define the target at every step of performance for each criterion. The rubric should clearly and completely cover the criteria of the outcomes it is supposed to measure.


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