Rubrics offer the teacher an opportunity to evaluate the student's understanding of a scientific topic by levels of performance on certain criteria. A rubric can evaluate the depth, breadth, creativity and conceptual framework of an essay, presentation, skit, poster, project, lab report, portfolio, etc. A rubric may be applied to numerous tasks in the classroom. Rubrics are scoring criteria that are:
- summative- provide information about a student's knowledge
- formative- provide information about a student's strengths and weaknesses
- evaluative- provide ways to create instruction that better fits each student's needs
- educative- provide students with an understanding of how they learn science
In the classroom, they can make assessment more meaningful, clarify expectations, and yield better feedback. Specifically rubrics are matrixes that define what is expected in a learning situation. For the students, a rubric clarifies the often mysterious grade at the end of a unit, project, paper or presentation by giving insight and direction about what is important about the science activity. There are two predominant types of rubrics; holistic and analytical.
Proficient- 3 points
The student's project has a hypothesis, a procedure, collected data, and analyzed results. The project is thorough and the findings are in agreement with the data collected. There are minor inaccuracies that do not affect the quality of the project.
Adequate- 2 points
The student's project may have a hypothesis, a procedure, collected data, and analyzed results. The project is not as thorough as it could be; there are a few overlooked areas. The project has a few inaccuracies that affect the quality of the project.
Limited- 1 point
The student's project may have a hypothesis, a procedure, collected data, and analyzed results. The project has several inaccuracies that affect the quality of the project.
Has a plan for Investigation
The plan is thorough
The plan is lacking a few details
The plan is missing major details
The plan is incomplete and limited
Use of Materials
Manages all materials responsibly
Uses the materials responsibly most of the time
Mishandles some of the materials
Does not use materials properly
Collects the Data
Some of the data
Major portions of the data are missing
The data collection consists of a few points
- Know the goals for instruction- what are the learning outcomes?
- Decide on the structure of the rubric- holistic or analytical--what fits best for the task?
- Determine the levels of performance- are there levels of performance specific to each criteria?
- Share the rubric with your students-students should have an opportunity to see, discuss or even design the rubric prior to the performance or the science activity.
Adapted from "Design Your Own Rubric" by Julie Luft, Science Scope, February 1997
Clarity of thought, Complete. Shows understanding of all processes, reasonable hypothesis or thoughtful questions, conclusions supportable by data, shows creativity, some graphic representation of data or concepts.
Clarity of thought, shows understanding of major processes, includes good hypothesis or questions, draws acceptable inferences and conclusions, may have graphic representations.
Completes the assignment, but explanations may be slightly ambiguous or unclear, may contain some incompleteness, inappropriateness, or unclearness in representation, hypothesis, understanding of processes, or conclusions.
Begins successfully, but omits significant parts or fails to complete, may misuse scientific terms, representations may be incorrect or omitted, incorrect or incomplete in analysis, inferences and conclusions.
Fails to complete
Assignment and explanation is unclear, or major flaws in concept mastery, incorrect use of scientific terms, inappropriate or omitted hypothesis.
Unable to begin effectively
Product does not reflect the assignment, does not distinguish what information is needed, restates the question without making an attempt at a solution.
Does not begin assignment.
regular daily entries
entries 90% of the time
entries 80% of the time
entries less than 80% of the time
use of scientific language
consistent, accurate usage of terms
adequate usage of scientific terms
occasional use with few errors
no terms or frequent errors in usage
application to the real world
able to apply learning
usually finds practical application
occasionally relates to real life skills
no practical application
shows understanding of key concepts
usually demonstrates understanding
inadequately demonstrates understanding
poor understanding of concepts
clarity of thought
Map is crystal clear, no isolines touch or cross, no stray pen or pencil marks and overall appearance shows care and attention to detail. Numbers are legible, yet unobtrusive, symbols are unmistakable.
Map is clear, although signs of carelessness may appear. Isolines do not cross, and stray pencil marks are minimal or mostly erased. Numbers are legible, symbols conform with handout guidelines.
Map lacks clarity. Isolines are nebulous, extraneous marks litter the page. Numbers are messy, symbols confusing.
Map is an utter mess. No attempt at neatness is evident. Includes a blank page.
Every isoline is present on map, and clearly labeled. Proper lines are used for topographic elements, and symbols represent all known or discernible structures.
Requires isolines are present, some labels may be missing. Most identifiable structures in landscape are represented by appropriate symbols.
Some isolines missing, labels intermittent. Few structures are represented by the appropriate symbols.
More isolines are missing than are present, labels rare to nonexistent. Symbols for other structures are not present whatsoever.
Map clearly corresponds to given landscape. Geologic formations are clearly identifiable, and distances between objects on map are directly related to reality.
Map represents landscape. General contours are identifiable, although details may be slightly off. Distances are mostly consistent with reality.
Map is a gross interpretation of reality. Hills and valleys exist, but shapes vary from given landscape. Distances between objects are only roughly proportional to given landscape.
Are you sure you were mapping the landscape I gave you?
Frequent and proper use of scientific terminology appropriate for the lab.
Data collection was within expected norms, explanations were given where they deviated.
Conclusion is appropriate for the data collected and shows a strong grasp of the scientific concepts.
Writing style shows neatness, grammatical correctness, good spelling.
The lab write up was complete with graphs and charts where appropriate. Check the parts present.
Purpose _____ Materials List ______ Procedures _____ Data and Observations _____ Calculations _____ Questions____ Conclusion ______
The response to the questions were carefully thought out and well reasoned.