(Kurita) Hello, everyone. (Student) Hello. (Kurita) Welcome to “Interactive Teaching” WEEK 6. This week’s topic is “Evaluations to promote learning. This is one of the two sessions on rubrics. Before starting on the main topic, let me clarify the goal for this week: “Acquire the basic knowledge to evaluate students’ learning, and to comprehend the significance of evaluations and be able to make use of them." We will explore the fourth objective this session: “Be able to explain the basic structure of a rubric." Here is the table of contents: “what is a rubric?” the basic structure of rubrics, and the wrap-up. Let us begin with an introduction to rubrics. Could you raise your hands if you have ever heard of the term “rubric”? Of course, everyone, since I have explained it in my class. So, have you ever heard of the term “rubric” or used rubrics other than in my class? No one. It is an evaluation method that is being increasingly used, so I think you will have more chance to see this and use it. It is a very useful and significant method, so I would like you to be able to handle this method. Here is an actual sample of a rubric. You all have it to hand and it is also downloadable, so please take a look at this handout while taking this session. This is one example of a rubric. It is intended to evaluate omnibus lecture-style microteaching sessions conducted in groups and was made by the students who attended the Utokyo Future Faculty Program in the last semester. The significance of a rubric is to visualize the perspectives of evaluation for projects and performances. More specifically, it is used to support evaluation methods which have been considered as very difficult to evaluate, such as writing assignments and acting. For example, I think you have experience in writing assignments. You submit a writing assignment that is two or three pages long, and it comes back with an A grade, but you do not really know why you got an A. You just receive a single letter A as your grade. Using rubrics is different from that. Rubrics clarify and quantify (or try to quantify) an instructor’s tacit perspectives as regards evaluating things such as writing assignments. It is an evaluation method that supports students’ learning by visualizing those tacit perspectives and gives feedback efficiently in terms of summative and formative evaluation. I would now like to move on to the components of rubrics by using this sample. The first component is task description. You write the name of the task, such as writing assignment or microteaching, in this case, here on the top of the sheet. The second component is dimensions. In this case, they are to do with what points you are going to check in the microteaching and are described in the section on the left. Dimensions are the perspectives for evaluation. The third component is scale. It says “excellent,” “good,” and “development” in this case, but there are various expressions for scale, such as A, B, C, or “superb,” “average,” “insufficient". They are written in the first row. The fourth component is the description of dimensions, in other words, the content of the evaluation. If the performance suits a particular description of the dimension, it would be categorized on a particular scale. “Good” refers to this cell, “developing” refers to this cell. This is the basic structure. There are four components for rubrics: task description, dimensions, scale, and description of dimensions. So, here is the definition of rubrics: “Rubrics divide an assignment into its component parts and provide a detailed description of what constitutes acceptable or unacceptable levels of performance for each of those parts” (Stevens and Levi, 2013). The definition seems to be a little difficult, but I think you would imagine what it is by looking at this sample. It gives concrete scales for tasks that are difficult to measure, such as writing assignments or microteaching. Let’s take a closer look at the components in order. The basic structure of a rubric consists of four components: task description, dimension (specific skills or knowledge required in the assignment), scale (levels of assignment), and description of dimensionsspecific feedback, or standard for making evaluations). Firstly, task description shall be written at the top of the sheet, as I mentioned. It involves a “performance” of some sort by the student as set by the instructor, such as a writing assignment, a paper, or a presentation. He/she wants to see something of the students, something they have acquired by giving them writing assignments. You should describe the task clearly. You might think that you do not need to describe the task, because specific tasks that you give the students are different from this sheet, but it is useful to have this as a reference when you give marks. It also grabs students’ attention by clarifying what the writing assignment is about. They could easily forget what the rubric is all about, so it is useful to show which task the evaluation is for when returning rubrics to the students. Secondly, dimensions lay out the parts of the task required to accomplish them completely. When you give writing assignments, it is important to cover all the components you want to measure. There are only three dimensions shown on the slide, but there are seven dimensions in all as shown on the handout. These seven dimensions make up one rubric. It is important that these seven cover all the components you want to measure. In general, be careful to set the number of dimensions to seven when you design a rubric. Ten or twenty dimensions would be too complicated to give marks, so keep them to seven. Another thing you should be careful of is that you should not include any description of the quality of the performance in dimensions. For example, giving the label “structure” is OK, but “excellent structure” is not good, because this includes a judgment. Expressions related to quality such as “excellent,” “good,” and “developing” shall be used in the description of dimensions instead. In order to simplify the relationship between the label and the description, you should leave aside adjectives and simply write the name of the dimensions, and put all those adjectives in each cell reserved for the description of the evaluation standard. Thirdly, I would like to explain scale. It is in the first row of the table. The scale describes how well or how poorly any given task has been performed. The number of levels in a scale is usually from one to five. Terms used to describe the level of performance should be both clear and educationally considerate. The expression used in the cell for the lowest level is “developing". It is a word to show that you are in the middle of developing the process. Being educationally considerate means to choose an expression that would not erode students’ motivation such as “awful,” but that would encourage them. Here are some examples of expression: “excellent, competent, needs work,” “exemplary, proficient, marginal, unacceptable,” and "distinguished, proficient, intermediate, novice. Even if you were at the lowest level, the word “novice” would encourage you to keep up, so please be sure to choose these kinds of expression and avoid using harsh words. Finally, the description of dimensions shall be made in these cells. A specific description should be given on the highest level of performance required in each of the dimensions. As you can see, it can be distinguished from others in that it is a text written in Japanese. It is not a rate such as 1 or 2, but a text that describes the standard of the content. A rubric that contains only the description of the highest level of performance is called a scoring guide rubric. This is a type of rubric which has only one level on a scale. You should describe the difference between the levels next to each other clearly. As you will notice by carefully reading the text, the description is clearly different between “excellent” and “good,” and “good” and “developing.” This is not only to make it easier to give marks, but also to clarify the standard needed to achieve “excellent” or “good." Expressing the difference between levels is actually quite difficult. And the description of dimensions shall be used to provide guidelines
and feedback regarding students’ learning. I have mentioned the term “feedback” several times. This is returned to students, so it is not merely a tool for giving marks. In that sense, a rubric is used not only for summative evaluation, but also for formative evaluation. Therefore, you should include the information in the description so that the students will notice what they need to correct or what they lack by looking at the description circled on the rubric returned to them. That concludes the explanation of the four components of a rubric: task description, dimensions, scale, and description of dimensions. Now, let’s wrap up. As I mentioned just now, a rubric consists of four dimensions: task description, dimensions, scale, and description of dimensions. That’s all for this session.