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Tuesday / April 25

How to Create a Student Proficiency Rubric

Student assessments can generally be defined by two basic types of assessments; formative and summative.  Formative assessments are performed by a teacher quickly and informally to provide a quick check of the students’ grasp of a lesson. A summative assessment is usually a documented performance exercise that identifies the understanding and knowledge a student has gained after the completion of unit of study.

Formative assessments should validate student achievement during a lesson. For example, a teacher may ask students to give a thumbs up, thumbs down or a flat hand wiggle (so-so) response to indicate their understanding of a concept. A teacher may have students complete a quick pre-test of their content knowledge of a concept when starting a lesson. After completing the lesson, students can answer reflective “exit slip” questions in which they describe how they participated in the classroom activities and list strategies they used to complete classroom activities.

A summative assessment is usually a post-test that measures the student’s knowledge gained from a unit of study. Once the assessment data is compiled, added intervention strategies can be developed to support student achievement. Observational charts can be developed to measure a student’s use of specific skills when completing an activity (see Leveraging Resources for Student Success by Burke, Baca, Picus, & Jones).  The data gathered can be assessed by comparing the results to a proficiency rubric.

Proficiency rubrics can be developed to determine the level of ability a student has achieved when considering the goals of a particular program. Rubrics can measure the attainment of a unit of study’s objectives and academic achievement gains. Here are the steps to develop a proficiency rubric:

  • Define the desired outcome of a unit of study.
  • Identify unit of study components that you want to evaluate.
  • Identify three proficiency levels for each unit of study to evaluate. Describe skills at the awareness level, the implementation level, and the adaptability level.
  • Create a program evaluation chart that lists program components with skills at the three levels of proficiency.

Outcome evaluation data on student performance can be collected from the following:

  • Attendance measurements
  • Academic performance measurements
  • Knowledge measurements
  • Success rates (e.g. student promotion rate, homework completion and accuracy)
  • Risk factors (dropout rate, suspensions, expulsions)
  • Behavior checklists and frequency of changes
  • Journals and participant reflections
  • Completion of surveys
  • Participation in focus groups and interviews

Below is a Student Proficiency Rubric to give you an example of what you might use to evaluate a student’s performance:

 

Sample Student Proficiency Rubric 

Directions: Circle the level of proficiency for of each of the following unit of study components. (Level 3 is the most accomplished level.)

Outcome Level 1

Awareness

Level 2

Implementation

Level 3

Adaptability

Students’ ability to participate with and learn from other students and the teacher The student does not participate in small group activities and only accepts instruction from the teacher.

 

The student can assist other students in small group activities and accepts instruction from peers and the teacher. The student can describe how students can learn and help each other in small group activities. The student can assist other students in small group activity and accepts instruction from peers and the teacher.

 

Outcome Level 1

Awareness

Level 2

Implementation

Level 3

Adaptability

Student’s ability to use academic activities that reinforce a unit of study

 

The student can describe how academic activities that reinforce a unit of study can be used.

 

The student can train peers in the use of academic enrichment activities that reinforce a unit of study. The student can create a training for using academic enrichment activities that reinforce a unit of study and train peers in how to use academic enrichment activities.

 

Outcome Level 1

Awareness

Level 2

Implementation

Level 3

Adaptability

Student’s knowledge and mastery of a unit of study The student demonstrates basic knowledge of a unit of study in a formative assessment.

 

The student demonstrates an overall understanding of a unit of study and participates in small group activities. The student applies the knowledge gained from a unit of study to real world problem-solving and new learning situations.

After a proficiency rubric is completed and reviewed, you can modify teaching strategies to ensure student success. An ongoing evaluation process supports flexibility to meet the changing needs of students. You might also consider the following questions to ensure equitable service delivery for all students:

  •  What culturally sensitive strategies should be used to ensure that students understand the  proficiency rubric?
  • How can students provide feedback on the creation of a proficiency rubric to validate the instrument’s outcomes?
  • How can a teacher ensure that the unit of study reaches beyond the classroom to ensure a student’s real world success?
  • What other resources or skills are needed to support student performance success?
  • What units of study should be developed to build a healthy school community?

Proficiency rubrics can provide a teacher with the ability to evaluate a unit of study’s success in closing the achievement gap. Planned assessment strategies are necessary to ensure that students can thrive and succeed academically and holistically.

Written by

Mary Ann Burke is the co-founder of the Generational Parenting Blog. Dr. Burke presents effective parenting and school engagement strategies at numerous state and national parent engagement events. She creates Common Core State Standards kits and S.T.E.A.M. activities for parents to use at home and in their child’s classroom to support children’s literacy and academic readiness skills. Dr. Burke is an author or editor of four Corwin Press Books on parent and community engagement in schools. Mary Ann is an active grandmother of five grandchildren that include seven month old twin granddaughters, a four year old preschool grandson, a six-year-old kindergarten granddaughter, and a nine year old third grade grandson. She supports her grandchildren’s literacy and academic development activity play at home and at their schools. Mary Ann is a credentialed parent educator for over thirty years in California’s schools and a former adjunct professor. Dr. Burke previously led the Santa Clara County Office of Education’s Parent Engagement Initiative that is a state model for best practices in parent engagement for culturally diverse families.

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