Write your reflections from the classmate’s post by selecting an idea from the reading of each chapter, describing your thoughts and feelings about it and why you agree.
Checklists, rating scales and rubrics are tools that state specific criteria and allow teachers and students to gather information and to make judgements about what students know and can do in relation to the outcomes. They offer systematic ways of collecting data about specific behaviors, knowledge, and skills. The quality of information acquired through the use of checklists, rating scales and rubrics is highly dependent on the quality of the descriptors chosen for assessment. Their benefit is also dependent on students’ direct involvement in the assessment and understanding of the feedback provided. The purpose of checklists, rating scales and rubrics is to: provide tools for systematic recording of observations, provide tools for self-assessment, provide samples of criteria for students prior to collecting and evaluating data on their work, record the development of specific skills, strategies, attitudes, and behaviors necessary for demonstrating learning, clarify students’ instructional needs by presenting a record of current accomplishments.
This chapter discussed the use of rubrics in elementary reading, middle school science and high school technology education. Examples for each educational level and subject is given to demonstrate the how the teacher can accurately teach each subject and properly test the students for their level of understanding the content given.
There is no more foundational activity for a school leader than making sure that there are clear learning targets aligned to whatever standards are in place in the school or district, that teachers understand them and teach to them, and that students understand them and reach for them. In this chapter, the author talked about the foundation of formative assessment clear communication of learning targets and clear understanding of the criteria for success. Directed student conversation can be a powerful way for students to develop comprehension of their learning target. Teachers check for understanding by asking for student questions or by asking students to put learning goals in their own words. Strategies that put information in written form enable teachers and students to review and refer to it. Both oral and written strategies are ways to get what is inside a student’s head out into public space so that others can hear it or read it and respond.
Rubrics are used from the initiation to the completion of a student work. They provide a measurement system for specific tasks and are tailored to each assignment, so as the assignments become more complex, so do the rubrics. Rubrics are used for both formative assessment (in-process feedback to be used for improvement) and summative assessment (evaluation of student learning at the conclusion of an assignment or project). Rubrics are great for students: they let students know what is expected of them, and grades by clearly stating, in age-appropriate vocabulary, the expectations for an assignment. They also help students see that learning is about gaining specific skills (both in academic subjects and in problem-solving and life skills), and they give students the opportunity to do self-assessment to reflect on the learning process.
Rubrics can be used for a variety of assignments: research papers, group projects, portfolios, and presentations. Although it takes time to build a rubric, time will be saved in the long run as grading and providing feedback on student work will become more streamlined. Rubrics are most often used to grade written assignments, but they have many other uses: They can be used for oral presentations. They are a great tool to evaluate teamwork and individual contribution to group tasks. Rubrics facilitate peer-review by setting evaluation standards. An instructor should start small by creating one rubric for one assignment in a semester. Examine an assignment for your course. Outline the elements or critical attributes to be evaluated (these attributes must be objectively measurable). Create an evaluative range for performance quality under each element; for instance, “excellent,” “good,” “unsatisfactory.” Add descriptors that qualify each level of performance: Avoid using subjective or vague criteria such as “interesting” or “creative.” Instead, outline objective indicators that would fall under these categories. The criteria must clearly differentiate one performance level from another. Assign a numerical scale to each level. Give a draft of the rubric to your colleagues and/or teacher assistant for feedback. Train students to use your rubric and solicit feedback. This will help you judge whether the rubric is clear to them and will identify any weaknesses. Rework the rubric based on the feedback.
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