Using Rubrics for Assessment
Much of this lesson's content has taken from the D2L Help area.
This SoftChalk lesson contains the content of my Rubrics workshop. It was also designed to demonstrate some of the capabilities of SoftChalk to aid instructors in lesson development. Note: If you click on the word "SoftChalk" in the previous sentence a Text Popper will appear that will tell you more about SoftChalk. The close button for the Text Popper is located on the upper right corner.
Also Note: When you finish this lesson print your certificate of completion!!!
As instructors we want to assign tasks to students that show their ability to synthesize knowledge and skills being taught, in meaningful ways, in order to connect these tasks to real world applications. (http://www.teach-nology.com/tutorials/teaching/rubrics/). The nature of these tasks produce student work that is individualized according to their interpretation and understanding of the knowledge and skills. When instructors build rubrics to assess each assignment the process helps them to 1) fully define the assignment for themselves as they create it and later for the students as they work to complete the assignment and 2) provides a consistant method for grading student assignments.
Dannelle D. Stevens and Antonia J. Levi, in their book, Introduction to Rubrics: An Assessment Tool to Save Grading Time, Convey Effective Feedback and Promote Student Learning (p. 3) remind us that rubrics provide students and instructors with a detailed list of specific criteria and performance expectations (levels) for assignments. Instructors make a list of criteria and then break down each criterion into performance levels that might also be assigned points. The criterion and performance level titles and descriptions are then recorded into a rubric grid. Typically performance levels begin with the highest level of performance and move to the lowest level of performance. Assignments that need to meet a great deal of specific criteria for successful completion should be evaluated using analytic rubrics. Assignments that can be assessed using one general criterion and several performance levels should be evaluated using holistic rubrics.
Stevens and Levi stated many reasons for using rubrics in your courses. Rubrics make it easier for instructors to grade consistently across the many sections of the same core courses and grade consistently between the first and last student graded within a section. Grading can be accomplished in a more timely and efficient manner when using rubrics since instructors will not need to write the same comments over and over. Note: The TurnItIn markup tool will be helpful in cutting down the number of comments instructors write, too.
When students use rubrics to guide work on assignments they are more likely to be successful. Students can more easily complete complex tasks when they are given a rubric to follow. You might ask students to "develop the ability to reflect on ill-structured problems" and providing a rubric will guide them in the process. University centers set up to help students with assignments can provide more effective feedback to students when they can view assignment rubrics.
An instructor gives students a rubric to use as a guide in completing an assignment (the Rubric could be posted in the D2L Rubric Tool). After assignments have been completed students work in groups of two or three and evaluate each other's work using a Word document containing the rubric. (This rubric can be copied from the preview window of the rubric from the D2L rubric tool. See directions in Example #2.) The completed rubrics are then uploaded to a D2L dropbox after evaluations have been completed. Students would then be given a deadline for updating their assignments before tuning them in for final grading by the instructor.
An instructor has created a complex, end-of-semester assignment for students. The instructor has written out detailed instructions and posted them in the courses' D2L shell but she wants to make sure that students have a check list to follow as they work on the assignment. To further aid students in successfully completing this assignment the instructor has created a rubric using D2L's rubric tool and has tied the rubric to a dropbox. She will later use this rubric from within the dropbox to grade student submissions. (She will be able to quickly indicate level of achievement for each criterion but she may also type additional notes if her achievement level descriptions do not fully explain the evaluation.)
The instructor decided that she wanted to create a rubric handout for class. She easily created the handout by opening the rubric in preview mode from within the D2L Rubric Tool and copied it (select all - control +A and copy - control + c). She then opened up a Word document and pasted the rubric into the document (control+V). She cleaned up the handout a bit getting rid of text she didn't need, resizing the table text to "Autofit to Contents" (right click, choose Autofit and then Autofit to Contents) , adding a points column to the right side of the table (right click in the last column and choose to insert a column to the right), and finally changing the page margins to .5 inches and printing the handout. As the instructor explained the assignment in class she talked through the handout rubric.
An instructor has assigned a research paper on the following topic: "What was the First 'Great Awakening'? Who brought it about? What groups in colonial society were most attracted to this religious movement?" She will collect student submissions in a dropbox. To insure fair assessment of the paper across the board the instructor tied three rubrics to the dropbox, one analytic, custom-point rubric and two analytic, text-only rubrics. The custom point rubric will assess paper content and general grammar usage. There are 4 criteria assessing content, one criterion assessing general grammar usage, and one criterion assessing general mechanics in this rubric. The rubric has been set up to use custom points so that each criterion (assessment category) can be weighted according to the importance the instructor places on it for determining the final paper grade. (Example: Content (Criterion) area one - 3 pts; Content (Criterion) area two - 2 points; Content (Criterion) area three 2 points; Content (Criterion) area four; 1 point; Grammar (Criterion), 1 point; and Mechanics (Criterion), 1 point. This rubric's numeric assessment will be sent to the dropbox as the student's grade. The instructor wants to further break down the assessment of grammar and mechanics so she attaches one additional analytic, text-only rubric for grammar and another analytic, text-only rubric for mechanics. The grammar and mechanics rubrics each have 5 sets of criteria. The instructor will use these rubrics to provide feedback to students and will also use them to help determine the level she will choose for each student for the grammatical and mechanical assessments in the first rubric. The instructor sees both rubrics in the same window when grading students. The students see both rubrics in the same window when viewing their assessments.
Example Scenario #3
The D2L Rubric Tool is an assessment tool used to evaluate an activity or grade item based on a predefined set of criteria. Using rubrics to grade student assignments helps to ensure that assignments are evaluated fairly and consistently. Instructors may wish to create a different rubric for each assignment or use one rubric for many assignments. Rubrics can be used to provide assignment feedback to students (typically you will tie them to a dropbox or grade item) or they can be connected to the Competencies Tool to indicate whether students have met a learning objective or competency. This lesson will focus on using D2L Rubrics to provide assignment feedback to students.
SoftChalk Tip: You can ask students to answer single questions throughout a lesson. Results from the single questions are collected and the student's score can be 1) sent to the instructor in an email or 2) compiled into a Certificate or Score Summary at the end of the lesson. The certificates and score summaries can be printed or students can press the Print Screen key on their keyboard, paste the certificate into a blank Word document, and then upload the Word document to a D2L dropbox.
There are two types of rubrics Holistic Rubrics (one-dimensional [one criteria or activity] and several achievement levels) and Analytic Rubrics (two-dimensional [more than one set of criteria or activities] and several achievement levels).
Typically, instructors use rubrics to provide student feedback by attaching them to dropbox assignments and grade items. Rubrics can be tied to quizzes and discussion boards, also. The rubric assessments are visible to students from the dropbox, the grade item, or quiz to which the rubric assessment is attached but students need to go to the Compentencies Tool to view discussion board rubric assessments requiring the instructor to set up compentencies and objectives.
Students see the assessment
Yes, by clicking the View Feedback icon in the Feedback column of the dropbox.
Yes, by clicking the Assessment Details link for the gradebook item.
Yes, by clicking the feedback icon next to the quiz name.
Discussion Board Tool
Yes, by clicking on the Competencies Tool and then the particular discussion board activity *
* If the instructor does not wish to use the Competencies Tool the discussion rubric could be tied to a grade column, however, using the Competencies Tools seems like the simplist grading method. When associating rubrics to a grade column for assessment the instructor would not tie the discussion board to a grade column but instead tie the rubric to the grade column and enter grades by hand into the column along with entering the assessment levels into the rubric. He or she would use two windows to grade discussion board postings, one in which the assessment area of the discussion board is open (the instructor would click Topic Score to filter and view messages by students) and the other window would be open to the grade column to which the rubric is attached. The instructor would add grades and rubric assessments from the grade column.
Note: It seems easier to grade student discussions when you have tied discussion rubrics to the competencies tool rather than a grade column. Two windows are not required in this case. The instructor would tie the rubric and a grade column to a particular discussion board . To grade the instructor would click the Assess Topic button and then Topic Score to view student messages and to attach a numeric score. The instructor would click the link to the discussion rubric that appears below the Topic Score link to add rubric assessments.
Questions #2, #3, #4, and #5
SoftChalk Tip: Questions can be combined into quiz groups. Results from the quiz are collected and can be sent to the instructor at the end of the lesson.
The image below shows a Holistic Rubric using the percentage scoring method in preview mode. Notice that the instructor has not filled in the text descriptions for each achievement level in this image.
The image below shows a holistic rubric using the percentage scoring method tied to a dropbox from the instructor's perspective as a student's work is being graded. Notice that the instructor has filled in a text description for each achievement level.
The image below shows what the instructor sees after hitting the Save and Record button after student work has been graded. Notice that the instructor selected the criterion level labeled "Good Work 75% or more". A score of 7.5 was entered in the Score field since the assignment was worth 10 points. The instructor's comments were also copied to the General feedback box.
If the Points Scoring Method is selected, and only one Criterion Group is used, the same number of points will be used for each achievement level across all criteria, example: Fully meets - 2 pts, Partially Meets - 1 pt, Does Not Meet - 0 pts. (See Image below) Notice that the instructor can choose to leave additional feedback after a criterion level is chosen by clicking the pencil in the last column.
If the Points Scoring Method is selected, and more than one Criterion Group is used, each group can have their own point structure. The image below shows one group of criteria that earns 4 points for fully meeting requirements and another group that earns 20 points for fully meeting requirements.
If Text Only is chosen for the Scoring Method then the instructor chooses the level the student has achieved for each criteria and leaves additional comments if applicable but no points are assigned.
You have a standard paper rubric for evaluating students' performance on an assignment. The rubric assesses performance based on four criteria: Knowledge and Understanding; Critical Thinking; Communication; and Application of Knowledge. Students may achieve one of four levels for each criteria: Needs Remediation; Below Expectations; Meets Expectations; and Exceeds Expectations. The rubric clearly describes the characteristics of each level for each criterion. Which type of D2L rubric would you create, a holistic rubric or an analytic rubric?
SoftChalk Tip: Questions can be combined into quiz groups. Results from the quiz are collected and can be sent to the instructor at the end of the lesson.
SoftChalk Tip: Flash cards can also be used for review along with other SoftChalk Activities.
Before we start creating rubrics we need to make some adjustments to your course to make sure students can see their assessments. To assure that students can see their rubric assessments you will need to add the Competencies Tool to your course navigation bar and adjust the settings.
Holistic rubrics allow you to assess participants' overall achievement on an activity or item based on a single criteria using predefined achievement levels.
Holistic rubrics may use a percentages or text only scoring method. Percentage holistic rubrics have a percentage range associated with each achievement level, which allows users' quiz and grade item activities to automatically be assigned an achievement level based on their quiz score or grade. Other activities and ePortfolio items may also be evaluated with percentage holistic rubrics, you just have to manually enter users' achievement levels.
As I stated previously, check out the Competency lesson to learn more about numeric assessments, but, we have added a few tips below to get you started.
Check out our SoftChalk Lesson on Competencies to learn more about Numeric Assessments. This lesson will focus on rubrics only.
Numeric Assessment Automatic Assessment Setting
Percentage-based Holistic Rubric Automatic Assessment Setting
Analytic rubrics allow you to assess a Competencies activity or ePortfolio item based on more than one criterion in a single rubric. With analytic rubrics, levels of achievement are displayed in columns and your assessment criteria are displayed in rows.
Analytic rubrics may use a points, custom points or text only scoring method. Points and custom points analytic rubrics may use both text and points to assess performance; with custom points, each criterion may be worth a different amount of points. For both points and custom points an overall score is provided based on the total number of points achieved. The overall score determines whether the activity is achieved.
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Note Add criteria groups if you want to divide your criteria into subsections.
By default the Status for new rubrics is set to Draft. When you are finished creating your rubric you should change the Status to Published to indicate that it is complete. You cannot associate a rubric with a Competencies activity or ePortfolio item unless its status is set to Published.
Dropbox folders are where users submit assignments. You can set up dropbox folders for each of your assignments and set start dates, end dates, and release conditions; set up special access; and associate folders with rubrics and competencies and learning objectives. Information you create in the dropbox folder about evaluation methodology, details about rubric assessments, instructions, and clarifications on assignment expectations, will appear in the Folder Information area of the Leave Feedback page.
Instructors can tie multiple rubrics to dropboxes but only one rubric's evaluation points will be sent to the dropbox points area via the Save and Record button. You could, however, choose to attach multiple rubrics to a dropbox, evaluate students using each rubric, and type the total points earned in the dropbox points earned box yourself.
D2L dropbox tools allow instructors to view submitted Word documents, comment on text and web documents, access student work using rubrics, and leave voice feedback for students in dropboxes. MTSU also has purchased access to TurnItIn Plagiarism Tool via D2L dropboxes. Allowing students access to their TurnItIn originality reports allows them to fix problems before final submission of assignments. Instructors can also use the default TurnItIn comments or set up their own comment groups and then drop comments onto student submissions.
When you are creating dropboxes decide whether to turn on the Plagiarism tool, set the Folder Type, Category, and Link the Grade Item. The next item to add is the Rubric. To add the rubric click Add Rubric to associate the folder with a rubric. Click the Create Rubric in New Window link to create a new rubric for this assignment. Continue setting the Out of points and custom instructions (optional), attach files (optional) and set the submission options. Check the Plagiarism tool options at the bottom of the page, too. If you are using the tool you may want to allow students to see the originality report.
You may want to link rubrics to grade columns when you are assessing assignments that were collected in class or when you are assessing discussion board postings.
IF YOU LINK RUBRICS TO A DISCUSSION BOARD ASSESSMENT AREA STUDENTS WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SEE THEIR ASSESSMENT FROM THE DROPBOX . There are two work-arounds: 1)You can link the rubric to a gradebook column and open two windows when grading discussion boards. Open the assessment area of the discussion board in one window (or tab) and open the gradebook column for grading in another tab. Students will see the assessment next to the grade column. 2) Tie the rubric to a Competency and Learning Objective. The instructor will be able to grade entirely inside the discussion board assessment area. The student will need to go to the Competency Tool to see the evaluation.
Click the Add Rubric button.
Choose the rubric you want to connect.
Click the Add Selected button.
Students will see a link called "Assessment details" that will allow them to open the rubric and see the assessment you have left for them.
This workshop will not be covering Competencies and Objectives but if you wanted to set up automatic assessment you would need to go into the Competencies tool, set up a Competency, then an Objective, and finally an Activity that connects to the assigment. The images below show the settings screen for each type of assessment.
Automatic assessment setup using a Percentage-based Holistic Rubric
Numeric assessment setup using the Automatic Assessment feature
(Note this picture has wording referring to a holistic rubric but the setting has changed to an numeric assessment.
The Leave Feedback page enables you to evaluate and leave feedback for submitted assignments. You can download dropbox submissions from the Folder Submissions page to work on files offline, or view and grade a document directly on the Leave Feedback page.
The Leave Feedback page contains two main sections: the Submissions List Panel and the Evaluation Panel. From the Submissions List Panel you can download submissions to work with offline or view submissions inline with the document viewer. The Submissions List Panel also displays a user's file submissions ordered by date. Use the Evaluation Panel to grade and provide comments on folder submissions.
The following file formats are compatible with Dropbox's document viewer:
You can also annotate users' web and plain text file submissions with the HTML Editor and attach those annotations as part of feedback.
If you use rubrics to assess Dropbox submissions, you can choose to append the overall rubric feedback to the Dropbox submission feedback field. If the rubric uses points, you can also choose to scale and transfer the overall rubric score to the Dropbox assessment score field. Both of these fields transfer to Grades if the folder is associated with a grade item.
You can assess a user submission with a rubric associated with the dropbox folder. For each associated rubric, you can grade a user based on set criteria, and you can also provide additional feedback in the HTML Editor.
Click radio buttons to grade your student's work.
Click the pencil at the end of each criteria row to leave student specific feedback. You can also change the points earned in this window.
When you finish grading each student decide if you want to Transfer rubric feedback to the general feedback area for this student. Choose Save to save the rubric and not sent the score to the dropbox "Out of" box. Slick Save & Record if you want to send a student's scores to the "out of" box.
Holistic Rubrics: If you want to use rubrics to automatically access student work and mark a learning objective as met according to grade points earned, create a holistic rubric that evaluates using percentages. Tie this rubric to a grade column or quiz and student work will automatically be accessed as meeting a learning objective when the grade is entered. (Note: The instructor will need to complete the automatic assessment setup in the Competency Tool.)
Analytic Rubrics: If you want to access student work for groups of criteria (analytic rubric) outside a dropbox and you will need to tie the rubric to a grade column so that students can see the rubric feedback you leave them. This will include leaving specific rubric feedback for discussion boards. Tie the analytic to the grade column that is tied to the discussion board. Open the discussion board grading area in one window and the gradebook column in another window. Move between the windows to evaluate student work using the rubric.
Note: Descriptions should be added.
Note: Differences between these two rubrics are 1) The Percentage Evaluation Holistic Rubric can be tied to a numeric evaluation and 2) Percentage Evaluation Rubrics can be used in conjunction with the Competency tool to automatically evaluate student work based on score earned.
When grading a student in the Quiz Tool we click on attempt # to view the quiz questions and a specific student's responses. We click on the overall grade link to bring up the rubric to provide students specific feedback on the specific criteria.
In the overall grade link you can.....
As stated previously, this lesson will not cover creating competencies and objectives using the Competencies Tool but some introductory information is included below.
The Competencies tool enables you to assess learning outcomes and determine whether users have really acquired the knowledge, skills or abilities a learning experience is supposed to provide. Competencies track information about the knowledge, skills and abilities the people in your organization acquire as they participate in courses or other learning experiences. The Competencies Tools tracks competencies made up of multiple learning objectives.
Some Competencies and Learning Objectives might might include:
Competency: The student can write all minor scales (natural, harmonic, and melodic) in all keys.
Competencies can be tracked by institution, college, department, or course. We will be concentrating on tracking competencies by course. Your area of expertise might use other words instead of competencies such as proficiencies, learning outcomes, standards, objectives, or skills.
A competency is a structure composed of different elements in a hierarchy:
When a user completes all the required activities in a learning objective, they achieve the objective, and when they achieve all the objectives in a competency, they achieve the competency. In this way they complete the competency from the bottom up by passing each of the required activities at the base of the structure.
A competency must contain at least one of each sub-elements; objective and activity.
Use the competency object to manage the hierarchy.
Learning objectives represent the things a person needs to learn to acquire a competency—the skills, abilities or knowledge a person must acquire to become competent in a given domain. Learning objectives should be a statement that is directly measurable.
More complex competencies contain multiple learning objectives. A competency such as Media Literacy is so broad in scope that it might contain multiple levels of learning objectives. The highest level objective might include "Awareness of Advertising Techniques," which might be broken down into sub-objectives of its own. You can do this by creating multiple levels of learning objectives, or by creating sub-competencies (one competency nested beneath another).
Note: Starting with version 9.2 of Learning Environment, you no longer create separate activities in the Competencies tool. Instead you associate learning objectives with actual course activities.
Activities are what you use to evaluate learning objectives. They are the content and assessments in the course, that measure a person's completion of a learning objective. Some activities can be set as required to achieve the learning objective. You can use multiple activities to evaluate a learning objective. Users must pass all the required activities associated with a learning objective to complete it.
In Learning Environment, activities can be quizzes, surveys, dropbox folders, discussion topics, content topics and modules, and grade items. Or they can exist as a manual assessment activity tied to a rubric. This gives you the opportunity to use existing tools to assess learning objectives and the flexibility to draw on other forms of assessment, such as an in-person demonstration.
Activities are the only elements that are actually graded. To complete an activity, a user's assessment must meet the minimum required level for that activity. This means competencies have no grades or levels of achievement—they are either complete or they are not. It doesn't matter if one person achieves the highest levels on all activities, while another meets only the minimum thresholds; in the competency model, both are equal. You can think of competencies as an inventory of skills or knowledge a person has, rather than a measure of how good someone is at something.
When associating a learning objective to a course item, there are several levels of association you can assign:
Use this level to track the alignment of a course item to a learning objective without any evaluation. This level helps indicate the coverage of a learning objective within a course without requiring any formal assessment of the item, no impact to any goal management, or automatic competency evaluation, which might be done in the future.
Use this level to evaluate the item with a numeric grade or a rubric, in order to view user and class achievement. This level of association doesn't use the item's assessment for goal management, or automatic competency evaluation, which might be done in the future. This level is appropriate for diagnostic and formative assessments.
Use this level to evaluate the item with a numeric grade or a rubric. This level of association provides the instructor with a view into user and class achievement, and uses the assessment of the item for automatic competency evaluation. This level is appropriate for summative assessments in courses that track competency and learning objective achievement.
You can create competencies at the highest org level or inside course offerings, or within other types of org units in between.
If you create a competency as part of a course offering, it is accessible only within that course offering, just like any other tool in Learning Environment. This can be an effective way to ensure users taking a course master all the material in that course: you can create a competency to represent the entire course, and create learning objectives to represent each unit, then associate each of these units with multiple activities (e.g., a test and an essay), requiring users to successfully complete the activities for every unit. They would have to learn all the course material to complete the course competency. In this way, competencies have an advantage over traditional grading mechanisms based on overall averages, which can mask significant gaps in comprehension.
You can also create competencies inside other types of org units, like a department, a semester, or the organization as a whole, which enables you to track users' achievements beyond individual course offerings. When you create a competency outside of a course offering, you can share it with multiple course offerings and use different activities to evaluate the competency's learning objectives inside each offering. This enables users to complete the competency in stages over time, working on different learning objectives within different courses, which is useful if the competency is large or complex and acquiring all the knowledge or skills associated with it involve many learning experiences.
Introduction to Rubrics: An Assessment Tool to Save Grading Time, Convey Effective Feedback and Promote Student Learning [Paperback]
Dannelle D. Stevens (Author), Antonia J. Levi (Author), Publication Date: November 2004 | ISBN-10: 1579221157 | ISBN-13: 978-1579221157
teAchnology, The Online Teacher Resource - http://www.teach-nology.com/tutorials/teaching/rubrics/
There are three main methods for communicating lesson results to an instructor. The first method is to complete the form below and click the Email Score button to email lesson results to your instructor. The second method for turning in lesson results is to print the Score Summary certificate to a piece of paper and hand it in to your instructor and the third method is to copy (print screen) and paste the Score Summary into a Word document and then upload the Word document to a dropbox. For this lesson we will email results to the instructor AND make a Word document. If you are participating in a workshop upload the Word document to the SoftChalk certificate dropbox.
To Copy your Score Summary to a Word document follow the directions below.
To Copy your Score Summary to a Word document follow the directions below.
Click the Print Score Summary button to display your Score Summary certificate.
Use <Command>-<Shift> 3 (to print an entire screen) or <Command>-<Shift> 4 (to print a specific screen region) to copy your certificate