The quality and effectiveness of descriptive rubrics

  • Brookhart S
  • Chen F
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Abstract

This review synthesizes the findings of studies of the use of rubrics in education settings published from 2005 to 2013. The review included studies only if the rubrics involved met the definition of having coherent sets of criteria and performance level descriptions for those criteria. Compared to the results of a previous review by Jonsson and Svingby (Educational Research Review 2(2): 130?144, 2007), the frequency, scope, and rigor of studies of rubrics have increased in recent years. Rubrics yield information of sufficient quality if certain conditions are met, most notably having clear and focused criteria. Evidence regarding the effects of rubrics on performance is positive overall. Evidence of the effects of rubrics on self-regulation of learning is mixed, though positive associations between rubric use and motivation to learn were identified in some studies.
This review synthesizes the findings of studies of the use of rubrics in education settings published from 2005 to 2013. The review included studies only if the rubrics involved met the definition of having coherent sets of criteria and performance level descriptions for those criteria. Compared to the results of a previous review by Jonsson and Svingby (Educational Research Review 2(2): 130?144, 2007), the frequency, scope, and rigor of studies of rubrics have increased in recent years. Rubrics yield information of sufficient quality if certain conditions are met, most notably having clear and focused criteria. Evidence regarding the effects of rubrics on performance is positive overall. Evidence of the effects of rubrics on self-regulation of learning is mixed, though positive associations between rubric use and motivation to learn were identified in some studies.

Author-supplied keywords

  • motivation to learn
  • reliability
  • rubrics
  • student learning
  • validity

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