Rubrics fall into two broad evaluation categories: holistic and points-based. Holistic rubrics assign levels to student performance on various criteria. This approach is more subjective, produces fewer accurate results and does not integrate well with percentage-based reporting systems.
Points-based rubric systems also use a leveling approach to assessment. However, in these rubrics points are assigned to each level of success on every criteria. For example, level four is worth 4 points. These points are then tallied to arrive at a student’s mark. You can see a typical Hekademia, points-based rubric below.
Points-based rubrics improve objectivity and allow students to see clearly where they lost marks. This type of rubric also streamlines assignment marking and provides a convenient starting point for teachers. Points-based rubrics will improve rubric usage rates at Hekademia.
Unfortunately, when points are tallied on a points-based rubric, the final score does not align well with the four achievement levels. For this reason, use a custom points scheme to align achievement levels with an existing grading scheme at your institution.
The following points scheme will aligns the points outcome based on a given level with the appropriate percentage.
Level 5: 10 points
Level 4: 8.5 points
Level 3: 7.5 points
Level 2: 6.5 points
Level 1: 5.5 points
Level 0: 0.0 points
Teachers using paper-based rubrics, identify the points for each level in either the header or footer rows of the rubric. In the case of electronic rubrics in an LMS, the custom points scheme may need to be entered for every new criterion on a rubric. However, once a criterion with a custom points scheme has been created it can be copied repeatedly to save time and prevent errors.
Many LMS rubrics also allow the points scheme of a rubric to be hidden from the student view. When this option is enabled, students see only the levels of a rubric, not the points associated with each level. All points-based rubrics should be configured to hide scores from student views.
Hiding points has two clear advantages. Pedagogically speaking, when instructors assess students’ assignments it is often desirable to de-emphasize or eliminate the marking scheme. Doing so diverts the student’s focus away from points-based assessment and directs them towards the actual criteria necessary to improve the product.
Furthermore, when points are hidden, teachers have the discretion to override the points assigned to that level without the student seeing the change. If points are not hidden, students will be aware that each level is assigned a pre-determined number of points. Conflicts may arise when teachers override the default score for a level in individual cases.
Do you have a preference for points-based rubrics or would you prefer to delete points from the rubrics and “eye-ball” the score? If you have questions or comments about this post or rubrics in general, leave a comment below , email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or catch me on twitter @TonyStecca.