Tuesday, 19 November 2013

How might the integrated use of Rubrics in LearnUCS enhance feedback and student learning?

The Elevate Team have been discussing ideas around assessment and feedback models with lecturers using the seven principles of good effective feedback as the framework. The following outlines how LearnUCS Rubrics might be used, and maps this back to the following principles:

  1. helps clarify what good performance is (goals, criteria, expected standards)
  2. facilitates the development of self-assessment (reflection) in learning
  3. provides opportunities to close the gap between current and desired performance
  4. provides information to teachers that can be used to help shape the teaching

So, before we start, what is a LearnUCS Rubric?

They are a marking scheme, which can be made visible to the student before they submit work, and you can use when marking the assignments. A Backboard quick guide is available: Rubrics

The following illustrates their potential. It is based on a formative assessment for Level 4 students. The activity is intended to reflect on the potential of technology to enhance their learning in a safe and sustainable manner.

It can be argued the provision of a rubric (marking scheme) will help student clarify what is good performance, through making the goals, criteria and expected standards transparent.

So, how can the Student see the Rubric (mark scheme)? When you associate a rubric with an assignment or activity, and ensure you have set visibility to yes, a button will be accessible for students. See below;

If the student clicks "View Rubrics" the Rubric Detail will appear.

Therefore, if you have provided a detailed rubric, the more information the student will receive. Note, in my example, as it is formative assignment I am only focussing on a broad pass or fail. However, you can add as many columns and rows as you like.

As you'd imagine the creation of the rubric is time consuming process compared to simply uploading the marking scheme as an item in LearnUCS. However, there are a number of other benefits from the use of rubrics. For instance, when you are marking the work you can use the Rubric, with a free text box to base your feedback around. This is illustrated below, where the assessor selects the individual criteria, adds the grade and provide written feedback.

Importantly, this will still allow you to use the other feedback options associated with the assignment tool. Such as file upload, or inline grading.

This approach will help the student more effectively collect and understand their feedback as it maps to various the elements of the marking scheme, their text and your feedback.

In terms of the seven principles, it will,
  1. facilitates the development of self-assessment (reflection) in learning
  2. provides opportunities to close the gap between current and desired performance

The student view of the marked Rubric, with your text based feedback is illustrated below. This will give a quick indicator of the works strengths and weaknesses.

Finally, how might the use of marked rubrics help provide information to teachers to help them help shape their teaching? It is possible to access a Rubric Report for a particular assignment which will give you the breakdown by criteria and spread of grades. This will provide evidence of performance across the cohort based on your marking criteria.

So, where next? Hopefully this has made you more aware of the what Rubrics are, and how you might use them within your teaching, learning and assessment models. If you'd like to get started using Rubrics, then email elevate@ucs.ac.uk to start exploring their potential.

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