As a general teacher or an educator, it is important to evaluate and assess students performance after they have completed a task. This is followed by making a professional judgment about their performance (Popham 2010). It is important to have a standard set of rules to guide you in this process to enhance efficiency and accuracy. This process is what we refer to as the performance criteria.
This is a mechanism used to qualitatively establish various levels of performance.
There are a number of rating scales that can be applied in different scenarios e.g.
- The numerical rating scale: This is a technique that uses numbers to indicate performance quality in different levels of proficiency.
- Qualitative rating scale: This technique applies verbal descriptions to indicate an individual’s performance level. It uses descriptions like; minimal, partial or complete.
Possible Sources of Bias
Personal bias and halo effect: sometimes teachers develop a general perception of their individual students, consequently affecting the grades they are allocated. For example, when the teacher has an overall favorable perception of the student’s ability, there’s an increased chance of allocating high score for the student , at the expense of other students. If the favored student scores high, the efforts by other students who would have performed better may be discourages.
How to minimize bias
Basically, it’s everyone’s goal to have a fair and just, or rather consistently objective scoring criteria. Since the process of assessing performance is professionally based, it’s critical to note that the need to maintain professional conduct is paramount. However, human have personal bias arising from halo effect. It therefore follows that the best way to maintain professionalism is through strict adherence to standards set and maintenance of consistent personal assessment.
A rubric is a combination of a scoring criteria and rating scale. This is a technique that makes use of a criteria to measure and differentiate between the various levels of a student’s proficiency. It is organized in such a way that it clearly shows how a teacher or a lecturer evaluates the element of evaluation (Popham 2010).
As a professional teacher, it’s important that objectivity and consistency is maintained. The express reason for objectivity is that it helps to overcome the possible bias that may arise from the skewed judgment.
It’s therefore required that sufficient information about the process is specifically defined such that the process of assessment stays within the course.
Guidelines to follow in the development of rubrics
- Ensure that the proposed criteria focuses on the performance aspects that are of great importance.
- Ensure that the rating and the reason for assessment match.
- Ensure that the descriptions are focused on those aspects of performance that can be directly observed.
- Ensure that the criteria is formatted in such a way that the students, parents and any other stakeholder can understand.
- Ensure that the traits that are to be used in the scale are clearly and specifically defined.
- Ensure that essential measures are put in place to minimize any scoring error.
- Ensure that the scoring system is feasible.
Performance evaluation is a technique used to measure skill and also performance learning goals and objectives. It is also vital in measuring knowledge and reasoning targets. After measuring performance, feedback is the next vital step that will determine a students ability to improve or decline in his or her performance.
Popham, J. (2o10). Everything school leaders need to know about assessment. California: Corwin press.