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Creating or Modifying Rubrics to Assess CSLOs

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After identifying what students will do to show that they have met the course-level SLO (CSLO), faculty have to determine how to measure the achievement of student outcomes. One popular assessment method is a rubric, which identifies the SLO, the criteria for measuring the SLO, and the performance descriptors that identify the degree to which the SLO has been mastered. (For more information, see Primary Trait Analysis and Rubrics, and PowerPoint slides from LAVC Rubric Workshops in 2008 and 2010.)

The creation of a rubric is a faculty process.

If your class is the only section of a course (e.g., English 208), you are free to develop your own rubric for the course.  If, however, your class is one of several sections of course (e.g., English 101, which has 33 sections), you must use the department's rubric to evaluate SLOs.

Start by identifying the major traits that determine a successful outcome. Describe the criteria relating to the traits and create a checklist, rubric or set of descriptive performance standards. Make sure to set the criteria at the appropriate level of thinking (Bloom's taxonomy). Try out your assessment on student work and make appropriate modifications.

There are three types of quantitative rubrics that are used at Valley in order to attain consistency and facilitate input into eLumen:

  1. Rubric for one CSLO, one assessment tool (activity) and three or more simple performance description levels (see Exhibit 1)
  2. Rubric for one CSLO, two assessment tools (activities) and three or more simple performance description levels (see Exhibit 2)
  3. Rubric for two or more CSLOs, one assessment tool (activity) and three or more well-articulated performance description levels (see Exhibit 3)

Regardless of which rubric is used, you must be sure to include the appropriate:

  • CSLO Criteria
  • Performance Levels and Descriptions
  • Weight

SLO Criteria

The criteria for evaluating CSLOs should derive from outcomes associated with the Program Pathway(s) in which the course resides.  In other words, when assessing student performance of CSLOs, that performance must be assessed based on the achievement of the following Program Pathways and their corresponding PSLOs (Program Pathway SLOs):

Foundational Skills Program Pathway SLOs:

  • Communication Skills
  • Reasoning Skills
  • Academic Habits of Mind

General Education / Transfer Program Pathway SLOs:

  • Communication Skills
  • Reasoning Skills
  • Global Awareness
  • Social Responsibility & Personal Development

Career-Technical Education Program Pathway SLOs:

  • Communication Skills
  • Reasoning Skills
  • Professional Behavior
  • Technical Skills

Performance Levels and Descriptions

The performance of the criteria should be divided into three broad levels:

  • Exceeds Expectations
  • Meets Expectations
  • Doesn't meet Expectations

Each level should include a description of the demonstrated skills, which can be very simple (see Exhibit 1), moderately detailed (see Exhibit 2) or quite detailed (see Exhibit 3).

Weight of the Criteria

For CSLOs with two or more criteria, a decision has to be made about the weight that each criterion will have.  In other words, should it simply be 50/50, or another fraction of 1.0 (see Exhibits 1-3).

Rubrics should be easily accessible.

Departments should maintain soft (electronic) or hard copies of the rubrics for all their courses, which can be printed in order to have a separate record of each student's individual scores.

Exhibit 1: Rubric for one SLO, one assessment tool (activity) and three or more simple performance levels and descriptions


CSLO: Analyze an essay to find the main ideas and supporting details.

 

Exceeds Expectations

2

Meets Expectations

1

Doesn't Meet Expectations

0

N/A

(not assessed)

Criterion: Reasoning Skills

Weight: 100%

Student performance exceeds expectations for the SLO.

Student performance meets expectations for the SLO.

Student attempted the assessment, but performance doesn't meet expectations for the SLO.

Student did not do the assessment

 

 

Exhibit 2: Rubric for one SLO, two assessment tools (activities) and three or more simple performance levels and descriptions


CSLO: Evaluate an early childhood classroom using ECERS (Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale)

 

Exceeds Expectations

2

Meets Expectations

1

Doesn't Meet Expectations

0

N/A

(not assessed)

Criterion #1. Reasoning Skills: Student will evaluate an early childhood classroom using ECERS (Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale) and use ECERS to evaluate an Early Childhood Education program through observation.

 

Assessment Tool #1: Student will submit a summary report using the score sheet provided within the rating scale.

Weight: 50%

 

Complete score sheet and summary of results

Complete score sheet

Incomplete score sheet

Student did not do the assessment

Criterion #2. Communication Skills: Student will develop a mentoring handbook that will be used for mentees as they mentor them.

Assessment Tool #2: Given a list of topics to be included in a mentoring handbook, the student will select one topic and prepare a PowerPoint that can be used in the mentoring process.

Weight: 50%

 

Has 10-15 slides with appropriate content and photos to support the content

Has 10-15 slides with appropriate content

Has some slides, but with inappropriate content

Student did not do the assessment

 

 

Exhibit 3: Rubric for two or more SLOs, one assessment tool (activity) and three or more well-articulated performance levels and descriptions.  The assessment tool is a writing assignment or exam.


CSLO #1:  Students will demonstrate the ability to summarize, analyze, and evaluate college-level texts to determine the author's purpose, make inferences, and synthesize their own experiences or ideas with those expressed in a text.

 

Exceeds Expectations

4

Meets Expectations

3

Meets Expectations

2

Doesn't Meet Expectations

1

Doesn't Meet Expectations

0

Reasoning Skills Criterion: Quality and clarity of thought

 

Weight: 50%

Demonstrates depth and complexity of thought, as well as logical reasoning

Demonstrates some depth and thought, along with logical reasoning

Demonstrates limited depth and complexity, and may contain some flaws in logic

Demonstrates a lack of focus or logic, and incoherent or simplistic thinking

Demonstrates failure with logic, clarity, or depth of thought

Reasoning Skills Criterion: Understanding and usage of the reading

 

Weight: 50%

Presents a clear, critical understanding of the assigned passage and a response to it

Presents a reasonably clear understanding of the passage and response to it

Presents a fundamental understanding and response regarding the passage

Presents some understanding of the passage, though possibly misconstruing parts of it

Presents a very poor understanding to the passage's main points

 

Exhibit 3 (continued)

CSLO #2:  Students will demonstrate the ability to create unified, coherent prose that clearly explains and effectively supports a controlling idea, using conventions of Standard English to achieve clarity of written expression.

 

Exceeds Expectations

4

Meets Expectations

3

Meets Expectations

2

Doesn't Meet Expectations

1

Doesn't Meet Expectations

0

Communication Skills Criterion:

Syntax and command of language

 

Weight: 25%

Impressive syntactic variety and sophisticated vocabulary 

Above-average syntactic variety and sophisticated vocabulary

A basic facility in language and adequate, if not outstanding, vocabulary

Limited control of syntax and vocabulary and displays little facility in language use

Inadequate control of syntax and vocabulary and no facility in language

Communication Skills Criterion:

Structure and Organization

 

Weight: 25%

 

Provides flawless organization of essay and paragraph

Provides fairly good organization of essay and paragraphs

Provides only fair organization at either the paragraph or essay level

Provides poor organization on both the essay and paragraph level

Provides excessively weak organization at the paragraph and essay level

Communication Skills Criterion:

Development and support

 

Weight: 25%

 

Displays exceptional development and supports ideas with striking examples containing vivid details

Displays good development and supports ideas with appropriate reasons/examples, though details may be less vivid than a superior essay

Displays standard vocabulary for English 28 or ESL 8 class-level along with sentence-structure variety

Displays less than adequate development; ideas are merely stated, irrelevant, and/or insufficient with supporting examples and details

Displays excessively weak development, providing either inappropriate supporting details or none at all

Communication Skills Criterion:

 

Grammar, usage, and mechanics

 

Weight: 25%

 

Contains no (or minimal) errors in grammar, usage, and/or mechanics

Contains some errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics, but they do not impede understanding

Contains errors, but generally maintains a wavering control of grammar, usage, and mechanics

Contains a meaningful number of errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics, which significantly interfere with reader understanding

Contains numerous errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics that almost completely obscure meaning