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ERIC Identifier:  ED481715
Publication Date: 2003-06-00
Author: Moskal, Barbara M
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation

Developing Classroom Performance Assessments and Scoring Rubrics - Part II. ERIC Digest.

A difficulty that is faced in the use of performance assessments is determining how the students' responses will be scored. Scoring rubrics provide one mechanism for scoring student responses to a variety of different types of performance assessments. This two-part Digest draws from the current literature and the author's experience to identify suggestions for developing performance assessments and their accompanying scoring rubrics.

This Digest addresses 1) Developing Scoring Rubrics, 2) Administering Performance Assessments and 3) Scoring, Interpreting and Using Results. Another Digest addresses Writing Goals and Objectives, and Developing Performance Assessments. These categories guide the reader through the four phases of the classroom
assessment process planning, gathering, interpreting and using (Moskal, 2000a). The
current article assumes that the reader has a basic knowledge of both performance
assessments and scoring rubrics.

DEVELOPING SCORING RUBRICS

Scoring rubrics are one method that may be used to evaluatestudents' responses to
performance assessments. Two typesof performance assessments are frequently
discussed in theliterature: analytic and holistic. Analytic scoring rubrics dividea
performance into separate facets and each facet is evaluatedusing a separate scale.
Holistic scoring rubrics use a single scaleto evaluate the larger process. In holistic
scoring rubrics, all ofthe facets that make-up the task are evaluated in combination.The recommendations that follow are appropriate to bothanalytic and holistic scoring rubrics.

Recommendations for developing scoring rubrics:

1. The criteria set forth within a scoring rubric should beclearly aligned with the
requirements of the task and the statedgoals and objectives. As was discussed earlier, a list can becompiled that describes how the elements of the task map intothe goals and objectives. This list can be extended to include how the criteria that is both analytic and holistic, is immediately available through this journal. Mertler (2001) and 

Moskal (2000b) have both described the differences between analytic and holistic scoring rubrics and how to develop each type of rubric. Books have also been written or compiled (e.g., Arter & McTighe, 2001; Boston, 2002) that provide detailed examinations of the rubric development process and the different types of scoring rubrics.

ADMINISTERING PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENTS

Once a performance assessment and its accompanying scoring rubric are developed, it is time to administer the assessment to students. The recommendations that follow are specifically developed to guide the administration process.

Recommendations for administering performance assessments:

1. Both written and oral explanations of tasks should be clear and concise and
presented in language that the students understand. If the task is presented in written
form, then the reading level of the students should be given careful consideration.
Students should be given the opportunity to ask clarification questions before
completing the task.

2. Appropriate tools need to be available to support the completion of the assessment activity. Depending on the activity, students may need access to library resources, computer programs, laboratories, calculators, or other tools. Before the task is administered, the teacher should determine what tools will be needed and ensure that these tools are available during the task administration.

3. Scoring rubrics should be discussed with the students before they complete the
assessment activity. This allows the students to adjust their efforts in a manner that
maximizes their performance. Teachers are often concerned that by giving the students the criteria in advance, all of the students will perform at the top level. In practice, this rarely (if ever) occurs.

The first two recommendations provided above are appropriate well beyond the use of performance assessments and scoring rubrics. These recommendations are consistent with the Standards of the American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association & National Council on Measurement in Education (1999) with respect to assessment and evaluation. The final recommendation is consistent with prior articles that concern the development of scoring rubrics (Brualdi, 1998; Moskal & Leydens, 2000).

SCORING, INTERPRETING AND USING RESULTS

As was discussed earlier, a scoring rubric may be used to score student responses to performance assessments. This section provides recommendations for scoring, interpreting and using the results of performance assessments.

Recommendations for scoring, interpreting and using results of performance
assessments:

1. Two independent raters should be able to acquire consistent scores using the
categories described in the scoring rubric. If the categories of the scoring rubric are
written clearly and concisely, then two raters should be able to score the same set of
papers and acquire similar results.

2. A given rater should be able to acquire consistent scores across time using the
scoring rubric. Knowledge of who a student is or the mood of a rater on a given day may impact the scoring process. Raters should frequently refer to the scoring rubric to ensure that they are not informally changing the criteria over time.

3. A set of anchor papers should be used to assist raters in the scoring process. Anchor papers are student papers that have been selected as examples of performances at the different levels of the scoring rubric. These papers provide a comparison set for raters as they score the student responses. Raters should frequently refer to these papers to ensure the consistency of scoring over time.

4. A set of anchor papers with students' names removed can be used to illustrate to
both students and parents the different levels of the scoring rubric. Ambiguities within the rubric can often be clarified through the use of examples. Anchor papers with students names removed can be used to clarify to both students and parents the expectations set forth through the scoring rubric.

5. The connection between the score or grade and the scoring rubric should be
immediately apparent. If an analytic rubric is used, then the report should contain the
scores for each analytic level. If a summary score or grade is provided, than an
explanation should be included as to how the summary score or grade was determined. Both students and parents should be able to understand how the final grade or score is linked to the scoring criteria.

6. The results of the performance assessment should be used to improve instruction
and the assessment process. What did the teacher learn from the student responses?

How can this be used to improve future classroom instruction? What did the teacher
learn about the performance assessment or the scoring rubric? How can these
instruments be improved for future instruction? The information that is acquired through classroom assessment should be actively used to improve future instruction and assessment.

The first three recommendations concern the important concept of "rater reliability" or the consistency between scores. Moskal and Leydens (2000) examine the concept of rater reliability in an article that was previously published in this journal. A more comprehensive source that addresses both validity and reliability of scoring rubrics is a book by Arter and McTighe (2001), Scoring Rubrics in the Classroom: Using Performance Criteria for Assessing and Improving Student Performance. The American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association and National Council of Measurement in Education (1999) also address these issues in their Standards document. For information concerning methods for converting rubric scores to grades, see "Converting Rubric Scores to Letter Grades" (Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, 2001).

CONCLUSIONS

The purpose of this article is to provide a set of recommendations for the development of performance assessments and scoring rubrics. These recommendations can be used to guide a teacher through the four phases of classroom assessment, planning, gathering, interpreting and using. Extensive literature is available on each phase of the assessment process and this article addresses only a small sample of that work. The reader is encouraged to use the previously cited work as a starting place to better understand the use of performance assessments and scoring rubrics in the classroom.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This article was originally developed as part of a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant (EEC 0230702), Engineering Our World. The opinions and ideas expressed in this article are that of the author and not of the NSF.

REFERENCES

Boston, C. (Eds.). (2002). Understanding Scoring Rubrics. University of Maryland, MD: ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation.

Brualdi, A. (1998). "Implementing performance assessment in the classroom." Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 6(2) [On-line]. Available:
http://ericae.net/pare/getvn.asp?v=6&n=2.

Mertler, C. A. (2001). "Designing scoring rubrics for your classroom." Practical
Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 7(25). Available online:
http://ericae.net/pare/getvn.asp?v=7&n=25.

Moskal, B. (2000a) "An Assessment Model for the Mathematics Classroom."
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, 6 (3), 192-194.

Moskal, B. (2000b). "Scoring Rubrics: What, When and How?" Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 7(3) [On-line]. Available:
http://ericae.net/pare/getvn.asp?v=7&n=3.

Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (2002). "Converting Rubric Scores to Letter Grades." In C. Boston's (Eds.), Understanding Scoring Rubrics (pp. 34-40). University of Maryland, MD: ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation.

Perlman, C. (2002). "An Introduction to Performance Assessment Scoring Rubrics". In C. Boston's (Eds.), Understanding Scoring Rubrics (pp. 5-13). University of Maryland, MD: ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation.

Rogers, G. & Sando, J. (1996). Stepping Ahead: An Assessment Plan Development Guide. Terra Haute, Indiana: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

Wiggins, G. (1990). "The case for authentic assessment." Practical Assessment,
Research & Evaluation, 2(2). Available online:
http://ericae.net/pare/getvn.asp?v=2&n=2.

Wiggins, G. (1993). Assessing Student Performances. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
Publishers.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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