Assessment Strategy and Process: Rubrics and Evidence Guides
PSTs who are experiencing difficulty within a professional experience placement and their supervisors commonly need assistance to analyse explicitly elements of practice that are of concern. Additional support strategies often need to target ways of making communication of expectations and goals to be attained more explicit.
Relevant Evidence Guides linked to Standards can assist both formative and summative assessment processes. Evidence Guides provide a range of suggested indicators that may need to be demonstrated and attained to meet a particular Standard. Evidence Guides ideally provide indicators for early, mid and late stage professional development stages and explicit frameworks to identify and describe problem areas for ‘at risk’ PSTS.
Rubrics are developed to explicitly outline assessment criteria for particular assessable elements of teaching practice in clear language. A particular assessment task – for example production of a lesson plan and its implementation- may be guided by a focussed rubric which clearly sets out elements of practice to be demonstrated within the task. The rubric would provide description of aspects of the task possibly against a grading scale – ie Exceeds Expectations, Meets Expectations. Annotation of practice against a rubric provides clear feedback on aspects of practice observed and evaluated.
A rubric may:
- provide the framework for explicit evidence production and collection.
- provide descriptors of different levels of attainment relevant to assessment criteria
- provide a framework to assist assessors giving the PST explicit feedback
- be developed specifically for a particular PST, context, aspect of practice, ‘at risk’ situation
- be developed by the university, supervising teacher, individually or collaboratively, as well as by the PST.
- provide a structuring framework for a portfolio
- be focussed toward the planning, delivery and evaluation of a series of lessons required to meet the learning needs of a specific group of students for example.
PSTs and their educators working with shared rubric or evidence guide documents can develop clearer common understandings of what is required and needing to be demonstrated during a placement. Such shared understanding contributes to a more equitable assessment process.
For ‘at risk’ PSTs the following process needs to be followed:
- Clear identification and documentation of areas of practice that are of concern need to be made. This process will be clear and transparent if rubrics outlining elements of practice are used as communication tools.
- An action plan would be developed outlining specifically the support structures to be put in place, the elements of practice to be developed and the specific evidence required to demonstrate meeting assessment criteria. Evidence Guides can contribute to this discussion.
- Rubrics applicable in particular to those areas of practice presenting challenge are developed by educators giving the PST clear indicators of practice to be further developed
- Evidence Guides such as that produced by Project Evidence provide explicit guidelines for both key learning experiences as well as relevant identifying valid forms of evidence that support assessment judgments with respect to particular Standards and Focus Areas.