Rubrics and Their Many Uses
What is a rubric and why is this performance-based assessment a valuable component of the nurse educator's toolbox?
A rubric is a scoring tool that communicates expectations of quality concerning a particular type of work or assignment. It specifies in objective terms criteria for assessment of student performance. For each criterion there are levels of potential achievement. These levels are graduated benchmarks (for example, 'superior, strong, adequate, needs improvement, inadequate,' or 'superlative, satisfactory, poor') that are defined by clear and objective descriptors. These are linked to numerical scores (for example, '5, 4, 3, 2, 1' from highest to lowest). The scores for each criterion are added up and the summary score for the entire rubric is then converted into a letter grade, percentage, or 'pass-fail' designation.
Rubrics are useful for gauging student performance for assignments that are subjective in nature and otherwise difficult to grade accurately and fairly. Examples are writing assignments, careplans, teaching projects, portfolios, research posters, and student presentations.
Rubrics should be shared with the learners at the beginning of the task or assignment process, to help guide their efforts. It gives students a clear idea of what they need to do to earn a certain grade.
There are two main types of rubrics: scoring rubrics and instructional rubrics. Scoring rubrics guide students in focusing on content, whereas instructional rubrics guide students in creating presentations and reports, both oral and written. Students tend to focus on content areas that will impact their grade.
Rubrics may be adapted according to the type of assignment and student needs. The first step is to determine specific criteria that are crucial to the assignment's outcomes. There should be no more than seven criteria, or the rubric will become unwieldy. The criteria become the "rows" in the grid. the second step is to describe the levels of achievement. The assessment scale may consist of three to six levels; these become the "columns" on the grid. the end product is a grid with columns and rows, such as this persuasive writing rubric or this brochure rubric.
Questions to keep in mind while developing a rubric include the following:
- What are the critical areas of quality work?
- What are the levels of achievement?
- What are the clear descriptors for the criteria at each level?
Here are just a few of the many resources available on the web concerning rubrics:
Rubistar - free tool to help educators create quality rubrics.
Irubric - another free rubric creator tool, as well as an extensive library of existing rubrics.
Presentation rubric - example of quality rubric to evaluate student presentations.
Example of peer evaluation rubric
United States essay rubric - example of a quality detailed rubric.
Grading stacks and stacks of writing assignments or careplans is challenging. A good rubric, however, can make the grading task easier and helps our assessment of student work be more fair, balanced, and authentic.Last edit by Joe V on Feb 3, '13
VickyRN is a certified nurse educator (NLN) and certified gerontology nurse (ANCC). Her research interests include: the special health and social needs of the vulnerable older adult population; registered nurse staffing and resident outcomes in intermediate care nursing facilities; and, innovations in avoiding institutionalization of frail elderly clients by providing long-term care services and supports in the community. She is faculty in a large baccalaureate nursing program in North Carolina.
VickyRN has '16' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds'. From 'Under the shadow of His wings...'; Joined Mar '01; Posts: 12,051; Likes: 6,483.Jun 22, '11Ah, how I could have used this in my assessment and evaluation course! Excellent post, Vicky!Jun 22, '11Quote from MoogieWhy, thank you, Moogie!Ah, how I could have used this in my assessment and evaluation course! Excellent post, Vicky!
I'm in the midst of creating some rubrics for the class I am teaching as an adjunct later this summer. One rubric is for the "article summary" assignment, another for the "interview" assignment, and yet another is for the "collaborative group presentations" in my course.Jun 22, '11I have completed one of my rubrics, my "Article Summary Rubric." I may need to tweak a thing or two over the next three weeks before class starts. I have attached this rubric for your review. I have derived some of this material from this source: http://www.teach-nology.com/platinum...perwriting.pdfLast edit by VickyRN on Jun 22, '11Jul 12, '11You know..those Rubics could be applied to nursing evaluations I think. Much better than what we have at some facilities and it would have the student better prepared for them too!Jul 13, '11Quote from pacunurse12Excellent point! Rubrics have so many valuable applications, not just in academia.You know..those Rubics could be applied to nursing evaluations I think. Much better than what we have at some facilities and it would have the student better prepared for them too!
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