Critical analytical essay rubric

This list by no means covers every possible school performance. It is just meant to help you think of the types of performances you might assess with rubrics. Physical skills Use of equipment Oral communication Work habits. Playing a musical instrument Doing a forward roll Preparing a slide for the microscope Making a speech to the class Reading aloud Conversing in a foreign language Working independently.

Constructed objects Written essays, themes, reports, term papers Other academic products that demonstrate understanding of concepts. Wooden bookshelf Set of welds Handmade apron Watercolor painting Laboratory report Term paper on theatrical conventions in Shakespeare's day Written analysis of the effects of the Marshall Plan Model or diagram of a structure atom, flower, planetary system, etc.

Concept map. This list is not meant to suggest what your students should perform. State standards, curriculum goals, and instructional goals and objectives are the sources for what types of performances your students should be able to do. When the intended learning outcomes are best indicated by performances—things students would do, make, say, or write—then rubrics are the best way to assess them. Notice that the performances themselves are not learning outcomes.

They are indicators of learning outcomes.

Except in unusual cases, any one performance is just a sample of all the possible performances that would indicate an intended learning outcome. Chapters 2 and 3 cover this point in greater detail. For now, know that the purpose of the list in Figure 1.


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About the only kinds of schoolwork that do not function well with rubrics are questions with right or wrong answers. Test items or oral questions in class that have one clear correct answer are best assessed as right or wrong. However, even test items that have degrees of quality of performance, where you want to observe how appropriately, how completely, or how well a question was answered, can be assessed with rubrics. Rubrics give structure to observations. Matching your observations of a student's work to the descriptions in the rubric averts the rush to judgment that can occur in classroom evaluation situations.

Instead of judging the performance, the rubric describes the performance. The resulting judgment of quality based on a rubric therefore also contains within it a description of performance that can be used for feedback and teaching. This is different from a judgment of quality from a score or a grade arrived at without a rubric. Judgments without descriptions stop the action in a classroom.

Rubrics are usually categorized by two different aspects of their composition. One is whether the rubric treats the criteria one at a time or together. The other is whether the rubric is general and could be used with a family of similar tasks or is task-specific and only applicable to one assessment.

Holistic or Analytic: One or Several Judgments? Each criterion dimension, trait is evaluated separately. Gives diagnostic information to teacher. Gives formative feedback to students. Easier to link to instruction than holistic rubrics. Good for formative assessment; adaptable for summative assessment; if you need an overall score for grading, you can combine the scores.

Takes more time to score than holistic rubrics. Takes more time to achieve inter-rater reliability than with holistic rubrics. All criteria dimensions, traits are evaluated simultaneously. Scoring is faster than with analytic rubrics. Requires less time to achieve inter-rater reliability.

Good for summative assessment. Single overall score does not communicate information about what to do to improve. Not good for formative assessment.

iRubric: Critical Analysis Essay Rubric - T4B9CC: RCampus

Description of work gives characteristics that apply to a whole family of tasks e. Can share with students, explicitly linking assessment and instruction. Reuse same rubrics with several tasks or assignments. Supports learning by helping students see "good work" as bigger than one task. Supports student self-evaluation. Students can help construct general rubrics. Lower reliability at first than with task-specific rubrics.

Requires practice to apply well. Description of work refers to the specific content of a particular task e. Teachers sometimes say using these makes scoring "easier. Cannot share with students would give away answers.

Score of 6 Outstanding

Need to write new rubrics for each task. For open-ended tasks, good answers not listed in rubrics may be evaluated poorly. Source: From Assessment and Grading in Classrooms p. Brookhart and Anthony J. Copyright by Pearson Education. Reprinted with permission. Analytic rubrics describe work on each criterion separately. Holistic rubrics describe the work by applying all the criteria at the same time and enabling an overall judgment about the quality of the work. The top panel of Figure 1. For most classroom purposes, analytic rubrics are best.

On Essay Rubrics, Why They are Hell, and How to Design Them Better

Focusing on the criteria one at a time is better for instruction and better for formative assessment because students can see what aspects of their work need what kind of attention. Focusing on the criteria one at a time is good for any summative assessment grading that will also be used to make decisions about the future—for example, decisions about how to follow up on a unit or decisions about how to teach something next year.

One classroom purpose for which holistic rubrics are better than analytic rubrics is the situation in which students will not see the results of a final summative assessment and you will not really use the information for anything except a grade.


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Some high school final examinations fall into this category. Grading with rubrics is faster when there is only one decision to make, rather than a separate decision for each criterion. On balance, for most classroom purposes I recommend analytic rubrics. Therefore, most of the examples in this book will be analytic rubrics. Before we leave holistic rubrics, however, I want to reemphasize the important point that all the criteria are used in holistic rubrics.

You consider them together, but you don't boil down the evaluation to the old "excellent-good-fair-poor" kind of thinking along one general "judgment" dimension. True holistic rubrics are still rubrics; that is, they are based on criteria for good work and on observation of how the work meets those criteria.