Commonly used analytic and holistic formats for rubrics have significant limitations in their potential to yield meaningful feedback to students. This inhibits students’ potential to improve their work. Consistent with the recommendation of the Gordon Commission for the Future of Assessment in Education that the focus of assessment shift from accountability to improvement, this research presents one easily-implemented step toward that goal. An alternative rubric format that is designed to provide meaningful feedback to students in order to trigger necessary learning and improvement is illustrated, and feedback from students on its utility is documented. The alternative rubric format, which focuses on “Areas for Improvement” or “AFIs,” has shown initial success in targeting instructional improvements, but student perceptions of utility have not been sought previously. This article explores those student perceptions. The sample included 38 masters’ level students from one institution who had completed complex product assessments, and 14 students from a different university who had completed only a simple discussion forum, totalling 50 graduate students. Results indicate that graduate level teacher education students are highly satisfied with the approach regardless of whether it is applied to major product assessments or simple tasks. This indicates that the format can be used for multiple types of performance and product assessments of varying levels of complexity. Respondents have also indicated support for attempting this technique in their own K-12 classrooms – a future area for exploration.
Wilkerson, J. R., & Lang, W. S. (2021). Rubrics that systematically identify areas for improvement. In W. B. James, C. Cobanoglu, & M. Cavusoglu (Eds.), Advances in global education and research (Vol. 4, pp. 1–12). USF M3 Publishing. https://www.doi.org/10.5038/9781955833042
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