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CBC Highlights: What are Assessment Rubrics?

An assessment rubric is a tool or scoring guide used to evaluate the quality and performance of a particular task, assignment, or project. It provides a framework for assessing and grading student work based on specific criteria and standards. Rubrics are commonly used in education at various levels, including primary schools, colleges, and universities, but they can also be applied to other fields or professional settings. In Kenya, Rubrics are a model of evaluation in the Competency Based Curriculum.

A rubric typically consists of a set of criteria or dimensions that define different levels of achievement or proficiency. Each criterion represents a specific aspect or skill that is being evaluated. Under each criterion, there are descriptors or levels that describe the quality or performance expected at different stages. These levels are often represented by a scale, such as numbers (e.g., 1-10) or descriptive terms such as poor, fair, good, excellent, below expectations and so on.

Assessment rubrics can be developed for various types of assignments or tasks, including essays, presentations, projects, lab reports, and performances. They can be created by individual teachers or collaboratively with other educators. Rubrics can be customized to align with specific learning objectives, curriculum standards, or the unique requirements of a particular assignment. The Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) gives room for two types of Assessment Rubrics;

  1. Analytic Rubric

This rubric type breaks down tasks, assignments and projects being assessed into parts and assesses each part separately. It provides a detailed and systematic assessment of each criterion, allowing for a more granular analysis of a learner’s performance or work. In an analytic rubric, each criterion is evaluated separately, and each criterion may have multiple levels or descriptors that indicate different degrees of achievement or proficiency. The levels or descriptors are typically organized in a hierarchical manner, ranging from low to high levels of performance.

2. Holistic Rubric

Holistic Rubric assesses overall performance on a task or assignment as a single entity. Unlike analytic rubrics that assess multiple criteria independently, holistic rubrics consider the assignment as a whole and provide a more general assessment of the overall quality or performance. In a holistic rubric, the criteria for evaluation are typically described in broad terms, outlining the general qualities or characteristics that will be assessed. Instead of assigning separate scores for each criterion, a holistic rubric provides a single score or rating that reflects the overall impression or judgment of the evaluator.

By using an assessment rubrics, teachers or evaluators can provide more objective and consistent feedback and grading. It helps establish clear expectations for students and guides them on what is required to meet specific standards. Rubrics also allow for transparency and fairness in the assessment process, as both students and teachers can refer to the same criteria and understand how the evaluation will be conducted. Conclusively, assessment rubrics provide a structured and systematic approach to evaluate and provide feedback on learners’ work, promoting consistency and fairness in the assessment process.

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