Beyond Rubrics Design Principles

Key Questions:

  • What does good assessment look like?

Activity Duration: 1 hour

What does assessment mean to you?

Take a moment to write down some notes or stories about assessment from your current practice and your experiences as a K-12 student.

Assessment can be a term loaded with emotions and anxiety. We see good assessment as ongoing, engaging, continuous, and seamlessly woven into a culture of learning. Good assessment processes make the learning process visible to educators and learners so that they may give better feedback, set ambitious learning goals, and communicate their learning with others. This activity will introduce you to the design principles that we used in the creation of the Beyond Rubrics toolkit and that you might use to adapt, remix, or design your own.

Before You Begin

Collect the following materials:

Assign roles:

  • Facilitator: will guide participants through the steps in the process.
  • Time-keeper: will keep track of time for each step in the process.

Facilitation Guide

Warm-up (10 min)

  1. Individually, take a moment to reflect on the following questions:
    • What is assessment?
    • What did assessment mean to you as a K-12 student?
  2. Share your reflections in the group.

Assessment Design Principles Jigsaw (50min)

  1. Watch the Beyond Rubrics: Design Principles video as a group.
  2. Each participant should take one of the Beyond Rubrics design principles articles. If working with a larger group, form small groups of approximately 4 people each.
  3. Explore your design principle (5-10 min). Individually, read about your chosen design principle. As you read, consider the following questions:
    • What is the principle?
    • What reaction do you have to the principle?
    • How does it relate to your current assessment values? How does it relate to your current assessment practices?
  4. Share about your design principle (10 min). Regroup with colleagues. Go around the circle and share about the individual design principles. Continue around the circle until everyone has shared.
  5. Discuss with colleagues (20 min):
    • What stood out to you in the principles and examples provided?
    • What resonated with your own views on assessment? What was challenging?
    • As a whole, how do these principles relate to your current assessment values?
    • How do these principles relate to your current assessment practices? (You may choose to rank the principles from the ones you do most consistently to the least.)
    • If your assessment values and practices are not in line, how might you bring them more in line with each other?
  6. Closing Reflection (10 min), As a full group, go around the circle and share a Monday and Someday for these design principles:
    • Monday: What is one thing you could try tomorrow (or on Monday) to try this principle in your classroom, school, or learning community.
    • Someday: What would it look like to fully design your classroom, school, or learning community using this design principle.

Next Steps

Make a plan to implement your “Monday” from the closing reflection!

To dive deeper into principles of good assessment, you can explore this introduction to Evidence Centered Design from the Center for Innovative Research in Cyberlearning.

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