Education Technology Services

Rubrics and their role in scoring and assessment

Assessing a student’s understanding of course material and overall performance is the cornerstone of education services. Traditionally, the performance assessment process has lacked transparency, leaving students guessing about instructor expectations. Attempts to focus on and improve student experience have seen efforts to bring greater transparency in the assessment process and criteria. One of the tools to facilitate objective student assessment is a scoring rubric.

What is a scoring rubric?

A scoring rubric (or simply rubric) is a tool to set clear expectations and outline the criteria for assessing and scoring a particular assignment, giving students details beyond a simple grade (or marks). It answers students’ questions – like “Why did I receive this grade?” or “What can I do to improve my grades?” – bringing objectivity and reducing subjectivity from the performance assessment process. A rubric contains elements like:

  • Assessment criteria
  • Levels of performance
  • Scores
  • Descriptors

Scoring rubrics are useful for performance assessment across various assignment types, activities, and subject matters, allowing students to include all the required elements in their assignments and maximise their performance.

Developing scoring rubrics for performance assessment

Many assessment rubrics are available online because of their significance and ease of use. You can use them “as is” or make small tweaks to meet the specific demands of your assessment. But if you want to develop your own customised scoring rubric, the following steps can help:

  • Select the assignment for assessment
  • List assessment criteria
  • Elaborate criteria description
  • Determine performance levels
  • Develop scoring scheme
  • Describe the best possible, the worst acceptable, and unacceptable products
  • Evaluate the rubric to make it more effective

You can also take help from assessment platform services or software to build a custom rubric for your course for traditional or technology-based assessment.

Why use assessment rubrics?

Scoring rubrics not only make performance assessment more transparent but also give students a clear roadmap for better performance. Both instructors and students can benefit from having and using a clearly defined rubric, which can further improve the learning experience.

From an instructor’s perspective, a rubric can help:

  • Assess every assignment objectively and maintain consistency from student to student. Grading consistency is often difficult to achieve due to several factors like shifting standards, instructor fatigue, or other criteria. Assessment rubrics can help overcome this issue and ensure every student receives a fair and equal assessment.
  • Save grading and scoring time for short or long courses as instructors can simply point to relevant rubric points instead of writing detailed feedback.
  • Provide timely feedback and promote student learning effectively. As an extension of the previous point, instructors and students can easily refer back to the rubric to understand the feedback and improve.
  • Clearly establish expectations and assignment components for students and course leaders. This is particularly important for larger courses that may have multiple instructors or teaching assistants.
  • Understand the strengths and weaknesses of the students to refine the course direction, modify teaching methods, or provide additional assistance to students.

On the other hand, from a student’s perspective, an assessment rubric can help:

  • Understand the instructor’s expectations for assignment components and grading criteria for each component.
  • Be aware of their learning journey and understand how they are progressing through the course. This can help students seek assistance from course leaders, instructors, or teaching assistants in areas they are struggling in.
  • Work on improving their work through timely and detailed feedback. Components of a scoring rubric allow the students to identify and understand the areas they need to work on, allowing them to focus on self-improvement.

In short, scoring rubrics are very effective and efficient tools that bring transparency to the performance assessment process by promoting objective and consistent assessment. They help define clear expectations for instructors and students, provide them with valuable feedback, and allow instructors and students to adapt and improve their effectiveness.

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How can Infosys BPM help?

Infosys BPM Edutech Solutions is the perfect partner for your journey to integrate flexibility, accessibility, and efficiency in your institutional or corporate learning ecosystem. With services focusing on learner success, learner experience, and operational efficiency, Infosys BPM can offer you the best assessment platform service.

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