How a rubric can communicate


OAI has been finishing up its 2009-10 cycle of reviews of program-level assessment, see the University’s portfolio for details about the process and the results.

One of the responses to a program regarding communication with stakeholders had a summary of the utility of a rubric as a communication tool:

Under “Communication” the report states: “Program Objectives and Outcomes will be more extensively discussed with the students in classes to encourage more participation in the assessment and improvement process.”

A programmatic assessment rubric could be a very useful tool to encourage students, and other stakeholders, to participate in the assessment and improvement process. For example a rubric:

  • Provides a reference point for students to consult repeatedly as they monitor their own learning and develop the skills of self-assessment. Students are supported in becoming better judges of quality in their own and others’ work.
  • Supports the development of a sense of shared expectations among students, faculty, staff, and external stakeholders.
  • Provides evaluators and those whose work is being evaluated with rich and detailed descriptions of what is being learned and what is not by facilitating a breaking down of outcomes into dimensions and of dimensions into criteria.
  • Provides criteria to shape and guide students’ engagement with one another and with course content.
  • Promotes a shared understanding among faculty, students, and stakeholders of the program outcomes.
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