Rubrics: When Just a Grade Is Not Enough

Sometimes a grade or pass/fail is simply not enough. If you need to provide constructive feedback to learners on completed assignments (papers, presentations, videos, pitches, responses to role-playing, etc.), a rubric is the perfect grading tool. A rubric standardizes scoring or rating based on your (customized) rubric criterion. To set it up, first define the criteria on which the assignment will be graded - usually around your objectives, set the rating scale, and create feedback.

While initially designed for the academic rigors of higher education, the Edvance360 Rubrics tool can be used by corporations, K-12 schools or basically any time a course facilitator wants to provide constructive criticism.

Here are a couple of use cases to consider:

Use Case #1: Training Customer Support Person

Customer support person is hired and entered by HR into Payroll, which triggers the LMS to send a Welcome Email and load the on-boarding courses based on the title, department, and site to which the new employee belongs. New employee logs into LMS and starts courses. First course is on phone etiquette. The lesson has a few stock scripts, a SCORM file with some scenarios asking the learner to select which script matches the presenting issue or question, and a test to assess what they've learned. That could be enough, but requiring a role-play with a live mentor, which is then recorded and judged via the rubric might look something like this:

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Use Case #2: Training Insurance Agent On Main Products

Insurance agent joins large agency, fills out form on corporate website with their license # and other pertinent information, which triggers the LMS to send a Welcome Email and load the on-boarding courses based on the agency to which they belong. Agent logs in to LMS to start courses. First course is on who the company is - mostly a feel-good video and rah-rah speech from head honcho, with an agent handbook and a test that asks if they've downloaded it. Second course is all about the main products. The lesson has a SCORM file with information each product and why or when someone would want to purchase said products, links to marketing collateral the agent should download and keep forever, etc. That could be enough, but requiring the agent to record himself/herself giving a pitch on each product would 1) ensure they have digested the information and 2) connected to their potential buyer persona, and 3) provide an opportunity for feedback. The agent would record the pitches, turn them in via the LMS and a mentor/facilitator would use a rubric to give feedback on things like tangible things like knowledge of product and  more intangible things like warmth in voice or care/concern.

 

Use Case #3: Nursing Clinicals

Nursing schools provide student nurses with hands-on access to patients, called clinicals. Students journal their experiences which are then reviewed and graded by instructors. Adding in a rubric to rate things like bedside manner, charting, etc. makes good sense. Even asking the clinical supervisor to rate the student on a rubric would provide real-world feedback long before they graduate.

 

Use Case #4: K-12 Assignment

K-12 teacher wants to provide feedback on PowerPoint skills. Students turn in PowerPoint as final project. Along the way they have option to turn in their outline, draft, and then final product for feedback. The teacher uses a rubric to judge the students ability to 1) select an interesting or pertinent topic, 2) to research said topic, 3) use graphics and text to make points in proper order, and 4) be creative in presenting the information. The student can use the feedback at the three points (outline, draft, final) to improve at each stage.

 

In summary, the rubrics tool empowers successful online learning programs of any kind to provide constructive feedback in the intervals of learning when it makes sense to provide more than a simple grade or pass/fail. Think of it as your "to improve performance" tool.

For more information on how to set up a rubric, download this great QuickStart Guide here.

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