Rubrics for Authentic Assessment
Effective training requires a focus on Knowing, Doing and Being. For example, an engineering student will need to know about Newton’s Laws. This can be assessed in an exam. But we may want the engineer to use this knowledge to demonstrate his/her skills in determining where two cars will end up after a collision. We also require the engineer to be a person who acts professionally, ethically and who is socially and environmentally aware of the impact of their work.
Traditional assessment methods such as essays and multiple-choice exams can only assess knowledge. However, external quality agencies and industry are demanding that learners have appropriate skills and attitudes. The BQA review framework requires that rubrics are used to assess learners’ performance (Cycle 4 Review Handbook, 2019, p. 14).
Assessment of skills and attitudes requires methods that focus on performance. This type of assessment is best carried out using rubrics so that objective judgments can be made, and consistency can be achieved between the judgements of different assessors.
A rubric is a guide used by a facilitator for making assessment judgments about learner performance. It is also a guide for learners to show them what is expected for success. Rubrics save time, provide timely, meaningful feedback for learners, and have the potential to become an effective part of the teaching and learning process (Stevens & Levi, 2013).