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Tips For Effective Rubric Design


Tips For Effective Rubric Design How to: design a rubric that does its job write precise criteria and descriptors make your rubric student-friendly – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Tips For Effective Rubric Design

Tips For Effective Rubric Design
  • How to
  • design a rubric that does its job
  • write precise criteria and descriptors
  • make your rubric student-friendly

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

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 Consistentlychewy 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 fat Medium 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 dont exist in a vacuum.
  • The good news

Holistic Or AnalyticWhich To Use?
  • HOLISTICviews product or performance as a whole
    describes characteristics of different levels of
    performance. Criteria are summarized for each
    score level.
  • (leveldegree of successe.g., 4,3,2,1 or
  • (criteria what counts, facets of
    performancee.g., research or number of chips or

Holistic Or Analytic?
  • HOLISTICpros 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
  • - 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?
  • AnalyticSeparate facets of performance are
    defined, independently valued, and scored.
  • Example Musicskillstring improvisation
  • Facets scored separately melody harmonics
    rhythm bowing backup confidence

Holistic Or Analytic?
  • Analyticpros 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

The Debate
  • Is the whole the sum of its parts?
  • Wiggle room or valid criterion
  • Overall Development
  • Overall Impression
  • Overall impact (See purpose)
  • Thomas Newkirk
  • Weighting
  • Number range (70-74 or 70-79)

Tip 1
  • Dont make task-specific rubrics.
  • Efficiency issue
  • Two heads or three or four or five
  • Make one, get two or three or four
  • Generalizable or template rubric
  • Unless you need it for tomorrow
  • (See Tip 8)

Tip 2
  • Dont use generic or canned rubrics without
    careful consideration of their quality and
    appropriateness for your project.
  • These are your students, not someone elses.
  • Your students have received your instruction.

Tip 3
  • Avoid dysfunctional detail.
  • in most instances, lengthy rubrics probably can
    be reduced to succinctmore 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
  • --Includes wordiness, jargon, negativity

Tip 4
  • Limit the number of criteria
  • Well
  • Dont 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)
  • Dont 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 UNLESS
  • Key Question to ask yourself What does it look

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?
  • --Be sure that the descriptor is not the
    criterion and vice versa

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 preciselyconsistentlyinconsistentlyM
    LA 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 models of the different performance

The Assignment Sheet
  • Dont forget the importance of the assignment
  • Connection to rubric (Use same language!)
  • The lawyers in your class
  • But the rubric doesnt say that
  • Project/paper/presentation must meet all
    requirements of assignment
  • Due date and late penalty
  • Format requirements
  • Non-negotiables
  • Skills and reasonable expectations

Dont Forget the Check-in Stage
  • Use your rubric as a formative assessment to give
    students feedback about how they are doing.
  • Isolate a particularly challenging aspect
  • Have student isolate an area of difficulty
  • Center revision instruction around rubric

Steps in Developing a Rubric
  • Design backwardsrubric first then
  • Decide on the criteria for the product or
    performance to be assessed.
  • Write a definition or make a list of concrete
    descriptorsidentifiable-- 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 didnt 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

Its hard work
  • Expect to reviseand revise
  • One problem is that the rubric must cover all
    potential performances each should fit somewhere
    on the rubric.
  • There are no final versions, only drafts and
  • When youve got a good one, SHARE IT!

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

The Mini-Rubric
  • These are the quick ones.
  • Fewer criteria and shorter descriptions of
  • Yes/no checklists
  • Describe proficient level of quality and leave
    other boxes for commentary during grading.
  • Use for small products or processes
  • Poster
  • Outline
  • Journal entry
  • Class activity

Mini-rubric Example
  • Vocabulary Poster Purpose to inform
  • Content criterion (50) 4 3 2 1
  • ____written explanation of denotationaccuracy/th
  • ____examples in actionaccuracy/variety
  • ____visual symbol or cartoon conveys word
    meaning accuracy/clarity
  • ____wordplay---weighs synonyms for subtleties of
  • Presentation criterion (50)
  • 4,3,2,1--neat
  • 4,3,2,1--clear organizational pattern
  • 4,3,2,1--no error in Conventions
  • 4,3,2,1--uses visual space to catch and hold
  • Score Content__Presentation___divided by
  • Comments

Miscellaneous Suggestions
  • 1--Describe proficient level of quality and
    leave other boxes for commentary during grading.
  • 2--Box the acceptableproficientlevel
  • 3--Translate the rubrics 4,3,2,1 into number
    that represents middle of grade range (e.g.,
  • OR, give a point range (e.g., A90 (indicates
    just made category)
  • BUT A95 (indicates solid in category

  • Dont 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
  • No, I did not use surface texture, but I did use
    deep carvings or vice, versato create some
    individualizing detail.
  • No, I did not use surface texture or deep

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 minimumsIs minimum minimal or is
    minimum proficient?
  • Uses appropriate sources (credible, timely,
  • Documents sources accurately

The Best Rubrics
  • Analytic and holistic
  • Developmental
  • Generalizable and specific
  • Instructional
  • The best rubrics WORK
  • for students and teachers!

  • Joyce, for technical helpwithout her help this
    PowerPoint presentation would be even
  • less visually appealing and more boring than it
  • Myra, for technical helpsee above
  • Myra, for Special input and rubric samples
  • Veronika, for rubric quiz idea
  • Jeff, for rubric sample

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.
  • Benjamin, Amy. An English Teachers 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 Project-Based Learning.
    PowerPoint. WEBLIBRARY.
  • Matthews, Jay. Writing by the Rules No Easy
    Task. lthttp//
  • 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.