Developing rubrics: What steps are needed?

Article appearing in Shiken 22.1 (June 2018) pp. 20-26.

Author: James Dean Brown
University of Hawaii at Manoa

Question:
A big question in many Asian countries right now is how to make good quality rubrics for assessing oral and written English. Could you give me some tips on how to do that?

Answer:
This is the second of two columns that I will use to answer your question. In the last one, I talked about the different types of rubrics (analytic and holistic) that can be used for either oral or written language output. In this column, I will explore the stages and steps that you may want to follow in developing a rubric. To do so, I will address three central questions:

  1. What steps should you take in developing a rubric?
  2. How should you decide on the categories of language behaviors to rate?
  3. What should you write in the descriptors inside the cells of the rubric?

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