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Rubric Analysis

Using two different sources, respond in writing (APA format) using the prompts below to guide your written analysis.

Part 1:

· Explore the Exemplars website, specifically the Resources tab for Rubrics. Review the Exemplars Math Rubric and Exemplars Reading Rubric.

· Questions to discuss:

o How does the Exemplars criteria for both math and reading rubrics follow a top-down or bottom-up approach? How do you know?

o To what degree are performance level descriptions addressed?

o Do these live up to what Brookhart proposes, that “. . .the most important aspect of the levels is that performance be described, with language that depicts what one would observe in the work rather than the quality conclusions one would draw” (p.26)?

o In your opinion, what are the values placed on using the terminology for mastery (Novice, Apprentice, Practitioner, and Expert)? In other words, how effective do you believe this terminology is and why?

Part 2:

· Explain the position Brookhart argues in Chapter 2 against rubrics that merely summarize the requirements of the task, as opposed to rubrics that describe evidence of learning.

· Explain what Brookhart means when saying; “Rubrics should not confuse the learning outcome to be assessed with the task used to assess it” (p.15).

· What is the relationship between this and what you learned about aligning formative assessments with the learning standards and objectives?

Brookhart, S. M. (2013). How to create and use rubrics for formative assessment and grading. Alexandria,VA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Retrieved from

· Chapter 1: What are Rubrics & why are they Important?

· Chapter 2: Common Misconceptions About Rubrics

· Chapter 3: Writing or Selecting Effective Rubrics 

Page 15

Confusing learning outcomes with tasks Rubrics should not confuse the learning outcome to be assessed with the task used to assess it. Rubrics are not assignment directions set into chart format. The biggest mistake teachers make when they use rubrics with performance assessment is that they focus on the task, the product, and not the learning outcome or proficiency the task is supposed to get students to demonstrate. This has been my experience and has been documented by others as well.

Page 26

How to write performance-level descriptions The most important aspect of the levels is that performance be described , with language that depicts what one would observe in the work rather than the quality conclusions one would draw. As I noted in Chapter 2, a common misconception I see regarding rubrics is that after criteria are identified, they are given evaluative scales (for example, Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor). These are not rubrics; they are old-fashioned grading scales. Descriptions of performance levels can be general, describing a whole family of tasks (for example, “Uses an appropriate solution strategy”), or task-specific (for example, “Uses the equation 2 x + 5 = 15”). Decide whether you need general or task-specific descriptions of performance levels (see Figure 1.2); in most cases, general descriptions are preferred. A second aspect of levels of performance that needs to be decided is how many levels there should be. The best answer to this question is the conceptual answer: Use as many levels as you can describe in terms of meaningful differences in performance quality. For some simple tasks, this will be two levels: Acceptable and Redo, or Mastery and Not Yet. In practice, you don’t want to end up with an overabundance of uncoordinated evaluation results that will be difficult to summarize. And often there are several different ways you could describe the continuum of performance quality, using more or fewer levels. Therefore I recommend that you choose a number of levels that will coordinate with your requirements for grading (Brookhart, 1999, 2011), if possible. For many classrooms, this means four (for example, Advanced, Proficient, Basic, Below Basic) or five (for example, A , B , C , D , F ) levels. If it is not possible to coordinate the number of levels with practical grading constraints, rather than violating the criteria and their descriptions, design a rubric that is faithful to the task and its quality criteria, and then figure out a way to include it in a summary grade if that is needed (see Chapter 11). Once you have decided on the number of levels, you need a description of performance quality for each level of each criterion. A common way to write these descriptions is to begin with the performance level you intend for most students to reach
(for example, Proficient), describe that, and then adjust the remaining descriptions from there— backing off (for example, for Basic and Below Basic) or building up (for example, for Advanced). Another common way is to start with the top category (for example, A), describe that, and then back off (for example, for B , C , D , F ). These methods illustrate two different approaches to assessment. In a standards-based grading context, Advanced is supposed to be described by achievement above and beyond what is expected. In a traditional grading context, often the A is what students are aiming for.


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