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|Rubrics exist to help teachers grade subjective material fairly. Consider the following [[quote|http://www.iupui.edu/~idd/assessment_strategies/asm_3.05.htm]] from Indiana University-Purdue:||Rubrics exist to help teachers grade subjective material fairly. Consider the following [[http://www.iupui.edu/~idd/assessment_strategies/asm_3.05.htm|quote]] from Indiana University-Purdue:|
General Education Assessment Guidelines
The goal of the general education assessment guidelines is to make assessment efficient and easy for faculty members. Making this process easy will enable us to collect complete and quality information.
Guideline: The General Education Committee has decided to move to Embedded Assessments.
First, let us define the terms:
Embedded Assessment: These are assessments of activities that are part of the class. This means that students complete these activities in normal course work (e.g. assignments, quizzes, tests, papers, etc.) and that those assessments count toward the student’s final grade.
External Assessment: These are assessments of activities that happen outside the normal course work and may or may not count toward the student’s final grade. Often they are standardized exams.
Both Embedded and External assessments have their place. Clearly, if we were measuring our students on a standard set of outcomes for which there existed standardized tests, external assessments would be ideal. However, not all students take external assessments seriously when those assessments do not count toward their final grade.
By the very nature of SACS guidelines, which require creating student learning goals that reflect the philosophy of the institution, there is no standardized tests that can be uniquely applied across general education. This is why, in recent years, SACS accreditation teams do not look favorably on the use of a single standard assessment exam (such as the ETS test) to assess general education programs.
If we are to assess our unique student learning goals, and the student learning goals that support them, in required courses, then I believe that those courses should actually:
- teach the students information that helps them to meet the expectations outlined in student learning outcomes,
- provide assignments, tests, quizzes, papers, labs or other activities that are part of the class, and
- record relevant progress related to the outcomes.
If the above three things are happening in our general education classes, we are doing embedded assessments and that can directly impact the ease with which we collect data.
Rubrics and Single Grader Assessment
Guideline: Where possible use objective measures. Where appropriate use Rubrics and provide training to those who will use them. Do not have multiple teachers grading single artifacts.
Rubrics exist to help teachers grade subjective material fairly. Consider the following quote from Indiana University-Purdue:
“Rubrics also have a special value in structuring and legitimating the subjective component of the instructor's assessment of student work. Subjective assessment draws upon the instructor's professionally developed awareness of quality in academic or other work. This may be essential for assessing with validity, because some outcomes require sensitivity to context and thus cannot be assessed in a fixed way across contexts. Objective assessment, in contrast, relies on quantitative scales that could apply to description of student work or performance.
Objective assessment has the virtue of being reliable and the reputation of being fair, while subjective assessment is often assumed to be unstable or biased. Hence, instructors often prefer to rely on objective assessment as a basis for grading.
Some criteria of achievement, such as complex thinking and contextually-sensitive performance, cannot really be measured with validity by objective ratings; valid assessment of such qualities requires the developed subjective awareness of an experienced professional. Hence the challenge is to give subjective assessments more reliability.
Development and use of a rubric can increase reliability in subjective assessment. When translating your grading policy into specific assignments, you want to ground your subjective judgment in a rubric that is consistent with your general criteria and also clear enough for students to understand it, perhaps with feedback and chances to apply it themselves.”
Therefore, rubrics are not always necessary at the assignment level. In fact, it is usually easier to grade an objective assignment.
How this impacts our assessment
We recognize the subjective nature of the student learning outcomes and our goal is to support the outcomes with embedded artifacts (the grades from assignments, tests etc.).
Assessment Plan Contains:
- Dimensions identify elements of the outcome that are assessed
- Criteria for the three possible outcomes
- Does Not Meet
- Target – A description of the section goals. E.g. X% of students will Meet or exceed dimension 1
- The Plan define Who, what when and where (see the template if you are building a new assessment plan)
- Assessment Spreadsheet form
- Includes column(s) to support each dimension of the rubric
- Includes summary information and determines if the target is met.
The columns mentioned above are the gradebook columns representing artifacts, that support the student outcomes and determine if the target is met.