Quinlan, Audrey M. A Complete Guide to Rubrics: Assessment Made Easy for Teachers, K-College. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2006. Print.
Chapter Two: Checklists, Performance Lists, or Rubrics
In this chapter Quinlan talks about how rubrics aren’t right for every assignment or for all parts of all assignments at least. She starts the chapter talking about the three kinds of learning objectives: “cognitive (information and knowledge), psychomotor (physical actions), or affective (attitudes)” (17). She discusses Bloom’s taxonomy and its relation to cognitive objectives. She gives a nice chart on pages 18-19 that breaks down Bloom’s categories and gives instructional objectives and verbs for each category: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. I did a quick search and found another page from Clemson University that includes similar information: http://www.clemson.edu/assessment/assessmentpractices/referencematerials/documents/Blooms%20Taxonomy%20Action%20Verbs.pdf
Psychomotor learning objective include anything that students must physically complete, from handwriting to archery to lab experiments to building robots. Quinlan cites Heinich, Molenda, and Russell to describe “four levels of the psychomotor objectives: imitation, manipulation, precision, and articulation” (17).
Affective learning objectives include attitudes and feelings about learning, which have to be evaluated by self -disclosure or through observation, so they are often “the most difficult to measure and evaluate” (17).
Quinlan next discusses using simple checklists to measure any of these kinds of learning objectives whether it’s completing a map or learning to spike a volleyball or even enjoying an activity (uses terms like “volunteers, joins in, cooperates, enjoys” (20). I can imagine using a checklist for group projects in my Comp I class or for the parts of the research paper in Comp II (instead of a multi-part rubric).
Here is an example of how I might use a checklist:
Checklist for College Composition II research paper
____ Brainstorming idea with class group
____Topic selected and approved
____Outline and planning completed
____ Initial research completed
____Draft of paper completed
____Peer review of group drafts completed
____Grading conference with instructor completed
____Revision of paper into final draft completed
____Evaluative paper completed
This kind of checklist would be useful for the student and the instructor, to keep the student on task and for the instructor to have one clear sheet with the student’s progress.
Next Quinlan talks about using an expanded checklist to do simple evaluation of parts of a tasks, using perhaps a check, minus, plus sign system to show students how well they completed the parts of the checklist. Again, I can see this being useful in a large individual or group project where not every part is graded individually.
The next type of tool discussed is a performance list, which uses a checklist format but assigns points to each task.
I could use a performance list for my group grammar presentations. One might look like this:
Group Grammar Presentations
Group Participation (25 points—5 points each)
___ Took a clear role in the group
___Completed a fair share of the work
___Got along with members (avoided or dealt with conflict)
___Communicated with members effectively
___Attended regular group meetings
Grammar Knowledge (50 points—10 points each)
____ summarized grammar concepts
____identified important terms accurately
____produced several original examples of each error
____corrected example errors accurately
____ answered any questions accurately and thoroughly
Presentation Skills (25 points—5 points each)
____ involved audience in presentation
___ Created an organized and visually appealing display
___Spoke clearly and loud enough
___Made eye contact with audience
___Displayed use of professionalism and standard English usage
Finally, Quinlan moves on to using rubrics. First, she explains the advantages to rubrics: they provide clear expectations, they let students know the benchmarks of the assignments, they let student see themselves in relation to clear objectives, they create more fairness and consistency in grading, and they “provide teachers with data to support grades” (26).
Quinlan talks about both 4 point or 6 point and holistic or analytic rubrics.
In a four point rubric, #4 would be “exemplary performance;” #3 would be “proficient…[s]olid performance or understanding;” #2 would be “partial understanding…emerging or developing; makes errors;” #1 would be “minimal understanding…has serious errors or misconceptions;” and 0 would be “[n]o attempt made” (27). In a 4 point rubric, a 3 is the “standard” (27).
In a 6 point rubric, the levels are: 6= “Exemplary achievement ;” 5= “Commendable achievement;” 4= “Adequate achievement;” 3= “Some evidence of achievement;” 2= “Limited evidence of achievement;” 1= “Minimal evidence of achievement;” and 0= “No response” (27). In a 4 point rubric, a 5 is the “standard” (27).
In a holistic rubric, the instructor includes all components or dimensions of an assignment in one category and assesses them together.
For example, for a general writing assignment that any instructor might assign, a simple 4 point rubric could be done holistically as follows:
4 points (exemplary)
Focus: has a clear focused thesis that is specific, original, and appropriate
Organization: has clear and developed paragraphs with specific topic sentences that relate to thesis
Content: uses specific examples or support for thesis and ideas
Style: uses appropriate and professional words and varies sentences
Grammar: adheres to Standard English conventions and has few or no errors
3 points (competent)
Focus: has a clear focus for the paper
Organization: has clear paragraphs that relate to thesis
Content: supports thesis
Style: uses clear appropriate language
Grammar: adheres to Standard English conventions with only slight errors that do not hinder communication
2 points (developing)
Focus: focus for the paper may be unclear or change
Organization: paragraphs may not relate to thesis or be clearly focused
Content: has some support but needs more to develop the thesis
Style: may use some inappropriate or inconsistent words or sentences
Grammar: has some errors in Standard English usage that may interfere with communication
1 point (unsatisfactory)
Focus: no clear focus for the paper
Organization: no clear paragraphs or no connection between paragraphs and thesis
Content: thesis is unsupported
Style: inappropriate or inconsistent words or sentences primarily used
Grammar: many errors in Standard English that interfere with communication
Did not complete
Although I can see the usefulness of this kind of rubric, the problem is that it doesn’t tell a student why he or she specifically received a 4 or a 2. Often a student may do well in organization, for example, but poorly in support and grammar.
The analytic rubric lets the instructor break down the points more specifically. For example, the rubric would be broken down into its dimension, like this:
4. has a clear focused thesis that is specific, original, and appropriate
3. has a clear focus for the paper
2. focus for the paper may be unclear or change
1. no clear focus for the paper
0. no attempt
This is much more like the rubrics displayed in the Introduction to Rubrics book-which I think are most useful.