In this essay, we attempt a review of few works, which deal with the effectiveness of introduction of student oriented rubric assessment into a 5th grade writing class. Diverse strategies and methods are available to assess the various categories of students – both high achievers and low achievers. One objective of rubric assessment is to enhance the performance of students who obtain low grades. Analysis A rubric is defined as “a series of narrative statements describing the levels of quality of a product or performance”.
Rubric is an assessment tool to assess the level reached by students. The use of divergent techniques of the students’ assessment indicates the quality of the performance of the students. The author uses the multiple intelligence theory which states that students possess multiple categories of intelligence and hence there is need to evolve assessment techniques to know whether the students possess all these types of intelligence such as linguistic, music, inter personal, intra personal, and so on.
Rubric assessment should reflect the set of knowledge that a student is expected to possess in his studies. The author advocates the use of ‘project centered assessment’ which clearly demonstrates the performance of students in a particular subject. The author suggests that students should be clearly told, through few examples, the ways to obtain grades such as “Excellent”, “Good”, “Fair”, and “Needs Improvement”. Rubrics should be designed in such a way that they should encourage students to participate in assessment process to demonstrate the level of skills achieved by them.
This work also comprises guidelines for constructing a ‘mathematical mobile’ which describes the method to achieve different grades by the students. Mathematic mobile provides guidelines for assessing student skills such as naturalistic, musical, and linguistic, kinesthetic and so on. For example, in naturalistic skill assessment, those students who produced 4, 3, 2 and 1 examples obtained “Excellent”, “Good”, “Fair” and “Needs Improvement” respectively. The work refers to five grading scales A, B, C, D, and E which represent scores 22-24, 20-21, 17-19, 15-16, and 0-14 respectively.
Another study refers to various rubrics such as writing, critical thinking, reasoning, communication, community and leadership, etc. This study has stressed the fact that the process of learning comprises all round development of personality of students. This work refers to rubrics such as writing, critical thinking, cultural perspectives, communication, community and leadership and so on. The students are given the opportunity to self-assess their achievements and the achievements of their colleagues.
The assessment comprises various grades such as “Exemplary”, “Very Good”, “Minimally Proficient”, “Substandard”, and “Unacceptable”. The method of securing these grades is explained with the use of examples. Similarly, skills in each rubric is graded by the use of the terms such as “Synthesizes and Evaluates”, “Analyzes”, “Applies”, “Knows and Comprehends”, and “Has Little Knowledge”. (Hegler, 2003). Kevin Crehan (1998) attempted a comparative study of different scoring strategies of assessment of the student performance.
The objective of this study is to improve the efficiency of these assessment strategies. The study is based on data obtained from some students who were subjected to different scoring strategies. Two hundred responses were obtained which were divided into five groups of 40 responses each. Twenty senior students served as raters. In this study, two raters from each scoring group scored the same forty papers so that it is possible to compare the results obtained by these ratings. Crehan explained the method of obtaining different grades like score 0, score 1, score 2 score 3 and score 4.
Average scoring time of both scoring methods are 58 and 62 minutes respectively. This study made the comparison between the effectiveness of assessment patterns discerned in these different scoring strategies. However, the author did not find any difference between these scoring methods. This may be due the nature of data obtained and used by the author in this exercise. (Crehan) Another study has analysed the strategies employed to assess the quality of student performance through writing assignments. It is found that few students did not appreciate connection between reading and writing.
This rubric assessment is based on writing assignments and journal writing scales. It is suggested that one solution to this problem is to encourage interaction and discussion between the students. Effect of intervention was analysed based on written student responses and interviews. Before the intervention, three-fourths of the students did not enjoy writing and they were not confident of journal writing. The study found that after interventions, there was modest improvement in quality of performance of the students in their writing exercises, particularly journal writing lessons.
For instance, students were given opportunity to interpret and discuss few phrases or statements, which were selected by them. This technique was effective in improving the student performance including those who obtained low grades in their previous assessments. In this study, different scores such as 1,2,3,4,5 and 6 in various categories like organization, comprehension, etc. , obtained by the students are evaluated and explained. Thus, low achievers are clearly informed the reasons for obtaining low grades in their assessments. (Sims, 2001)
Conclusion The above review of literature resulted in identification of various problems among the students and few solutions are suggested to overcome these problems. The solutions suggested by the authors include strategies of learning and strategies of assessment which will go a long way in improving the quality of student performance. The above studies demonstrate the effectiveness of rubric assessment techniques when they are introduced in the 5th grade with the objective to improve the writing and other skills of the students.