Question 7: How are rubrics different in a proficiency-based assessment system?

Conceptual Overview

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Presentation Audio Transcript

Text-based Reflection

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Read The Role of Assessments in a Competency-Based Assessment System by Caroline Messenger.
Examine this sample Performance Assessment with sample rubrics.
Answer the following questions:

  • Will each rubric be able to assess what the performance assessment asks students to produce?
  • What would you change about the rubrics?

Practice the Process

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Read the below Performance Task.

Performance Task: You try very hard not to use a stand and deliver model of instruction, but sometimes it's necessary. Recently, you asked your students for feedback on how you give them new information. The reviews were generally positive, but there was some feedback that sometimes your stories or analogies, although entertaining, just do not make sense with the content. You got a similar comment from your colleagues last year during instructional rounds. Next week, you are introducing a new topic to your students. Prepare a five to ten-minute presentation that purposefully uses a story, analogy, or example to help you explain the new topic. (Don't forget to prepare a rubric for this task using your proficiency language as well!)

Quality Process: Write a rubric for this task. Decide on a topic. Brainstorm possible analogies, stories, or examples. Write an outline. Create any digital supports, if necessary.

Practice. Present your information to your students. Self-reflect on the rubric.

Quality Product: Coherent, organized five to ten-minute presentation with digital supports, if necessary; self-reflection on your rubric. Bonus: Student assessment of your presentation!

Create a rubric using the proficiency language you developed earlier in the course.
Do the performance task.
Assess yourself on the rubric. Bonus: Have students assess you!

Case Study Analysis

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Read the below case study:

Steadfast School, a K-12 school, reports out and collects data on transferable skills a little differently than they do for content proficiencies. Transferable skills have only one level of achievement defined whereas content proficiencies are K-12 and had five levels of achievement defined. The system was working relatively well until Bea Contrary was hired. Bea is from a different state and had different ideas about how transferable skills should be assessed. She thinks that problem-solving, for example, looks different for a third grader than it does for an eleventh grader, and there should be distinctions made.

In March, she shared her ideas with the principal, who told Bea that she could make her case at the annual curriculum review in July. He told her specifically to focus on what rubrics would look like. The curriculum review includes teachers and administrators who are interested in refining proficiency language; it lasts two days. The first-day reviews feedback from all the teachers, students, and parents collected throughout the year on language. The second day examines proposed changes and implications of those changes. If there are big changes, there is time to make adjustments, but adjustments have to be made by August 1. Anything that will take longer than that will be addressed throughout the school year to be implemented the following summer.

Bea prepared this slideshow. She asked that they make the changes to be implemented in the fall rather than wait one more school year. Some agreed the changes should be made in the window, some thought the changes were not necessary, and some thought the changes should be made but that this was a bigger adjustment than the summer window allowed.

Answer the following questions after reviewing the slideshow:

  • Knowing what you know about transferable skills, PBGRs, and rubrics, should there be distinct levels of achievement in transferable skills? Why or why not?
  • Knowing what you know about proficiency development including pilot testing, is there enough time to make the changes in less than a month?
  • What would your recommendation be? What are some mutually beneficial options?

More Resources

Use the Rubric Design Process protocol to create a valid and reliable rubric.
Examine the Rubric Design Criteria for a quick overview of the components of a quality rubric design.
Read Great Schools Partnership’s "Verifying Proficiency: Scoring Criteria" for an overview of scoring criteria design principles.
Use the Cookie Monster Protocol with colleagues to explore rubric creation and scoring to better understand rubric use in schools and classrooms.
Use the Rubric Tuning Protocol and Evidence Chart with colleagues to revise your rubric.

Evidence of Learning

Be sure to record your answers to the above questions in the Evidence of Learning Tool.

Continue this Self-Paced Course

Question 8: How can I field test proficiency language?

Browse other questions: Developing and Applying Proficiencies

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