Common Structural Design Features of Rubrics May Represent a Threat to Validity

Jun. 28, 2014

Source: Educational Researcher, 43(5), June/July 2014, p. 253-263.

Rubrics for assessing student performance are often seen as providing rich information about complex skills.
In this article, the authors examine a rubric used to assess students’ writing in a large-scale testing program.
They present empirical evidence for the existence of a potentially widespread threat to the validity of rubric assessments that arose due to design features.

The research casts doubt on whether rubrics with structurally aligned categories can validly assess complex skills.
A solution is proposed that involves rethinking the structural design of the rubric to mitigate the threat to validity.

Updated: Feb. 10, 2015