Rubric maker icon Tips for creating effective rubrics for the VELS

Only assess what you have explicitly taught

Teachers should only make formal assessments of the knowledge, skills and behaviours which have been explicitly and systematically taught in class, and which students have had multiple opportunities to practise in class.

Use rubrics to help make ‘on balance judgements’

The LOTE Rubric Maker is designed to create rubric for assessing discrete tasks and not a whole semester’s progress. Over a semester a number of these rubrics can be created to assess the tasks completed by students. These rubrics contribute to a final on-balance judgement of the student’s performance.

Focus on key skills, knowledge and behaviours

Students may demonstrate a wide variety of skills when undertaking a task. However, the assessment should focus on performance in a small number of key areas. Each standard/progression point in the rubric should target a different skill. A rubric that includes too many standards / skills will be difficult to use. The full range of language and cross-domain skills should be assessed over a number of separate tasks during the semester.

‘Student Products’ contain the evidence of student learning

An assessment task can consist of a single student product, such as a description, a poem recital, a vocabulary test, a mind map or an aural comprehension activity. Some assessment tasks comprise two or more related student products, each focusing on separate skills. For example, a sports survey may require three student products: a written set of survey questions; asking/answering survey questions orally; an annotated chart of survey results.

Rubrics work best when the task requires three or fewer student products.

Use a cross curricular approach

One key principle of the Victorian Essential Learning Standards is that when learning a discipline such as LOTE, students also often use related skills from the Physical, Personal and Social Learning and Interdisciplinary Learning strands. When the teacher explicitly integrates these skills from other strands into the LOTE program, students often find language study more engaging.

Should you include standards from other domains in your assessment rubrics?

Yes No
if you have explicitly taught the skills connected to that standard. if you are not sure whether the students have been explicitly taught the knowledge and skills connected to the standard.
if the students have had sufficient opportunity in class to practise the knowledge and skills.

if the knowledge and skills connected to that standard are a key element of the assessment task.
if the knowledge and skills connected to the standard are not a key feature of the assessment task.

It is important to think carefully about what is being explicitly taught, learnt and assessed in a task. This will help to focus the teaching and learning, to keep expectations for each student product associated with the task realistic, and to generate a manageable number of standards to assess against for these short activities. This thinking will assist in identifying a small range of relevant attributes leading to a selection of standards statements that make a useful assessment rubric for assessment of, as or for learning within the VELS.

Use rubrics to help students understand the task

Assessment rubrics work best when the students understand the criteria for their performance. In a VELS-based rubric, the statements should be rephrased if necessary, in language that is accessible to the students. Students should be aware of the explicit knowledge and skills that they are expected to demonstrate in the task.

Plan for assessment

When planning units of work and assessment tasks, teachers should ask:

If units and tasks are designed using this thinking process, it should be easier to develop meaningful and consistent rubrics using the VELS as criteria.

Add performance descriptor

The LOTE Rubric Maker creates an assessment sheet with criteria and a choice of three or five performance levels. It does not automatically generate performance descriptors within the table. Teachers can write their own in the final Word document if they wish. Some useful websites to help with writing this part of a rubric are:

http://intranet.cps.k12.il.us/Assessments/Ideas_and_Rubrics/Create_Rubric/Step_5/step_5.html
http://edweb.sdsu.edu/triton/july/rubrics/Rubric_Guidelines.html
http://school.discoveryeducation.com/schrockguide/assess.html

Change performance tables to suit your needs

Adapt the wording of performance levels to suit your students. Examples are:


Below the standard Meets the standard Exceeds the standard
Below expected level At expected level Above expected level

Beginning Developing Competent Accomplished Exemplary
Not satisfactory Satisfactory Good Very Good Excellent
1 2 3 4 5

Use student self assessment

Consider creating a teacher-assessed rubric which targets some skills, and a companion student self-assessment rubric which focuses on others.

Share ideas

Discuss and evaluate rubrics with colleagues.


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Created on: Friday, October 10th, 2008 | Page last updated: Monday, 1st December 2008

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