What are Rubrics and Why are They Useful?

Rubrics are a useful tool to guide assessments and communicate feedback – e.g. in the form of learning outcomes for the exam situation. A rubric is like a matrix that can clarify and visualize criteria on learning outcomes in coursework and exam situations. Rubrics support feedback from academics to students. In WISEflow a rubric is created by the author, used by the assessors in the assessment period, and shown to the participants on the flow after the end of an assessment.

Key Features

  • Rubrics can be created in the author module and stored in the content bank. You can add tags for different purposes and share the rubrics across the licence.
  • WISEflow supports the full process and the involved parties (authors, managers, assessors, students, and reviewers)
  • The marking scale can be defined each time and the points can directly be converted to a mark. 
  • Rubrics can be shared with the students before and after the examination. 
  • The assessor can stay in the assignment when completing the rubric for each student. The rubric opens on the right-hand side of the assignment.
  • The assessor can write and record comments to each criterion (optional).
  • Supports standard rubrics which come in a fixed format and are akin to traditional scoring matrices or custom rubrics which allow more flexibility in the set-up and make use of the various question types available in WISEflow.  

Advantages of Using Rubrics

  • Transparency
    As a rubric can be shared beforehand with the students, they know exactly what criteria they are being assessed on before they sit their exams. Furthermore, filled out rubrics can be shared with participants making their performance on an exam based on certain criteria and feedback transparent to them.

  • Consistency
    By formalising the criteria of the assessment in the rubric, you make sure that participants are only assessed on those criteria for each exam. The students are not assessed on any criteria that are not in the rubric and all students are assessed on the same basis.

  • Structured Feedback
    Using a rubric can also help to structure feedback – both for the assessed students and the assessor. For the student, the feedback is structured visually, as they can see what criteria they are assessed on and how they performed on the individual criteria, so they know where they performed well and where they need to increase their efforts in the future. For the assessors, they can spot issues in their teaching. For example, if a group of students have a wide array of performances, but all generally perform poorly for one specific criterion, there can be an issue with the teaching of this criterion in the course.

  • Alignment
    Lastly, rubrics are a good tool for bringing in alignment between the teaching of a course and the actual exam itself. By formalising the learning goals as criteria in the rubric, you are ensuring that the students are assessed on the same things as they are taught in class.

This video explains the idea behind WISEflow rubrics, as well as how to build and administer rubrics in the system.

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