Rubric-Based Assessments: Usage and Benefits

March 16, 2022 Watermark Insights

Educators can use a rubric for assessment, also known as a scoring guide, grading scheme, or criteria sheet, for any content domain. A rubric makes a range of performance standards and assessment criteria transparent to students and helps assessors apply consistent standards when evaluating qualitative tasks.

What Are Rubric-Based Assessments?

Rubric-based assessments indicate achievement criteria across all components of student work, from visual to written to oral. Instructors may use rubrics for overall grades, class participation, and for marking assignments.

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Elements of a Rubric

A grading rubric includes the following elements, which become unique assessment tools for any given assignment:

  • Criteria
  • Performance levels
  • Scores
  • Descriptors

Benefits of Rubric-Based Assessments

Rubrics are essential tools in performing student assessments. Rubrics improve students' chances of success by outlining the required elements of an assignment. They are great for conveying timely feedback to students, reducing subjectivity, increasing objectivity, and reducing grading time.

Other benefits of designing rubrics for students include:

  • Rubrics save time when grading: Educators can reuse rubrics semester after semester. Rubrics save educators time when grading and help them provide substantive feedback to students.
  • Rubrics standardize grades: Students can better understand where their grades come from with rubric-based assignments.
  • Rubrics can help you design stronger assignments: Rubric-based assessments are more streamlined because educators can assign value to different test components. Doing so allows them to clarify their prompts.
  • Rubrics produce better papers: Rubrics guide students when revising — and even drafting — their reports, helping them meet learning goals more effectively.
  • Rubrics give students more confidence: Students will experience less stress and anxiety and avoid common pitfalls with rubric-based assessments. Most students perceive their grades on rubric-based assessments as more fair than those not based on rubrics, and can more easily identify their strengths and weaknesses within and across papers.
  • Rubrics help clarify expectations: Designing and distributing a rubric can lead to higher test scores among students.

How Do Rubrics Standardize Learning?

Department chairs need easy ways to demonstrate that their departments meet both institutional and program goals. This is where the idea of "assessing the assessment" comes into play. A program assessment rubric provides information about what teaching techniques work and why within departments.

Instructors can share program assessment rubrics to see what is working and decide on changes to courses or activities to meet institutional criteria. Using rubrics to evaluate assessments can help department chairs learn more about how to take action toward improving proposals in the future.

Identify Key Areas of Improvement With Rubric-Based Assessments

Watermark offers Outcomes Assessment Projects to enable educators to use rubric-based assessments to unearth institutional and programmatic learning outcomes. Let us help you use rubrics to standardize learning and enjoy quick, far-reaching insights into how your program can advance as a whole.

With our software, you'll have access to rubric-based assessment projects all in one place to quickly assess learning outcomes. Plus, comparison views and dynamic filters allow you to accomplish all of this quickly to ensure you are exceeding institutional criteria.

Ready to get started? Schedule your demo with Watermark today.

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