(Kurita) Hello, everyone. (Student) Hello. (Kurita) Welcome to “Interactive Teaching” WEEK 6. This week’s topic is “Evaluations to Promote Learning. In this session, we would like to have the graduate students discuss the use of a rubric." Before the discussion, I would like to explain how to use rubrics, so the first objective of this session is this: “Be able to explain how to use rubrics. You have all given marks to virtual writing assignments by using a rubric, so based on that experience, the second objective is this: “Consider the advantages and disadvantages of rubrics. Let me start with how to use rubrics. Suppose this is a rubric for a writing assignment. Hand this rubric to students along with a writing assignment. They will make use of this rubric as a guide. The dimensions for giving marks to this writing assignment are clarified on the rubric, so they could write an assignment based on those dimensions. I usually have students mark their own assignment and submit it with the rubric stapled on it as a cover. This is how I give writing assignments. What is good about having them mark their own assignment is that students can self-evaluate their assignment on the spot. They could give feedback to themselves by noticing what they lack or need or have accomplished, so before submitting the assignment, self-evaluation would promote and guide students’ learning. So, I recommend the use of self-evaluation. Then, after students have submitted their assignments, instructors give marks to them based on the rubric. If they have been through self-evaluation, instructors would evaluate the assignments by confirming whether the self-evaluation is valid or not. By circling the description of the rubric or underlining the description to indicate any deficiencies, giving marks on the assignments becomes direct feedback to the students without the need to give precise comments to each student. Students could receive information regarding feedback when their assignment is returned as if they have received precise comments. So, give both assignments and rubrics back to the students. As you can see, a rubric functions as a tool for giving marks from the perspective of the instructors, and also as a guide for learning from the point of view of the students. I recommend you to make use of rubrics in this way. Now, let’s move on to the discussion. I asked all of you to give marks on a task described as follows: “Are you for or against the following opinion: ‘Active learning should be adopted in university classes?" Choose either stance and discuss the issue by using references and citations. I handed you four types of writing assignment as samples with a rubric. Can I see this? (talking to one of the students) This is the rubric. Teramoto-san gave marks by circling the description like this and I think you all did it in the same way. Thank you. Then, based on the experience of giving marks, there are four here, but there would actually be 20 or 100, so I would like you to think of the advantages and disadvantages of rubrics. There are advantages and disadvantages for both instructors and students. Let us start with the advantages for instructors. How about you, Hodrigo-san? (Student) I gave marks to only four assignments this time, but I think I would speed up if there were more assignments. Also, if the rubric is refined enough, I think you could entrust marking to someone else such as teaching assistants (TAs). (Kurita) Yes, both of these are advantages. What else? Horiuchi-san. (Student) Well, I felt that I was able to give marks without being subjective, so I think rubrics enable instructors to evaluate students fairly. (Kurita) Thank you. She gave us the keyword: “fair". Usually, when you give marks on writing assignments, you are tired by the end of the work and are likely to be inconsistent between the first assignment and the last assignment. However, if you use rubrics, that kind of case would not be likely to happen. Now, how about disadvantages? Nakamura-san. (Student) Yes. While rubrics would speed up the work of giving marks as mentioned in the advantages, I think it would take a long time to design rubrics. (Kurita) Yes, it would. If you tried to refine rubrics, it would take a lot of time. You might not design a good rubric in the first place and so need to revise it. Still, there is a big advantage in designing a rubric, but it is hard work to design it from scratch. However, there are many educators who are designing rubrics these days, so searching and making use of them that suit your assignment might lighten your burden. Here is the summary of advantages and disadvantages for instructors. First of all, rubrics make it easier for instructors to convey the intention of the task to students and to clarify what dimension they want to focus on when assigning the task. The second advantage is that because you can mark consistently, objectivity could be maintained to a certain extent. Therefore, you might be able to ask TAs to do the marking. The third advantage is that you can speed up the process of giving marks. As Hodrigo-san mentioned, rubrics enable instructors to give marks even if they have many assignments. The third advantage also leads to giving careful comments. By simply circling the description, various kinds of information would be given to students in the form of comments. On the other hand, the first disadvantage is that it is difficult to design good rubrics. You always have to revise and refine them. The second disadvantage is that it takes a lot of time to design rubrics. As mentioned before, it would take a long time to create a rubric from scratch. However, making use of rubrics designed by others might help you design your own rubric. Now, let’s move on to the advantages and disadvantages of rubrics for students. How about you, Yoshida-san? (Student) Yes. With rubrics, you can tell the focus of the dimensions in the task, so I think they promote students’ learning. Students could give marks on their own work beforehand and their marks would lead to their actual grades, so I think students could be happy using rubrics in that sense, too. (Kurita) Yes. Do you have anything to add, Kaneko-san? (Student) Well, regarding the fact that students could give marks to their own work, as mentioned, I think students could clarify if they have accomplished the dimensions before submitting them, and they would then be satisfied with the evaluation they received from the instructor afterward. (Kurita) Thank you. That’s true. There are advantages for students as mentioned. Then how about disadvantages? Ozawa-san. (Student) Yes. Since the dimensions are clarified, there are upper limits for the evaluation, so I think students might not be able to demonstrate their abilities beyond the instructor’s expectations. (Kurita) I see. Even if students were able to perform far better, they might neglect their work. It means that you cannot measure what is beyond the instructors’ expectations. That is an important perspective. You should be careful to include those kinds of things, too. Here is the summary of advantages and disadvantages for students. The first advantage is that students can understand the intention of the task and the dimensions for evaluation and that they can make use of rubrics as a guide for working on the task. The second advantage is, as mentioned before, that rubrics enable students to self-evaluate their work. The third advantage is that they could expect to receive careful feedback. Instructors can give marks by confirming whether the self-evaluation is valid or not, and students can have a rough idea of the instructor’s evaluation beforehand. The first disadvantage is that if the rubrics are not refined enough, students might focus too much simply on the dimensions described in the rubrics. What Ozawa-san mentioned might be included here. Rubrics may convey a message to students that they do not have to make further effort as long as they fulfill the dimensions described in the rubric. In particular, when the dimensions are not described fully, what is not written in the rubric would be completely ignored, so a student’s performance might be incomplete in relation to what instructors expected. Incomplete assignments might be evaluated highly due to the insufficiency of the dimensions. Therefore, you must always be sure to design rubrics with thorough dimensions and keep improving them. You also have to be careful to be able to measure beyond the upper level of the scale and convey a message to students that you are able to measure outstanding performances. That’s all for this session. Thank you.