Designing a Faculty Development Program for the Effective Use of Analytic Grading Rubrics

Friday, 25 July 2014: 11:25 AM

Candice Phillips, PhD, APRN, CNM, RN, CNE
Rachel Choudhury, MSN, MS, RN, CNE
Academic Affairs, Chamberlain College of Nursing, Downers Grove, IL

Higher education literature recognizes the vital role that assessment tools exert on improving student academic performance (Howell, 2011). Benefits of using analytic grading rubrics have been noted to include: increased student understanding of instructor expectations (Oakleaf, 2008) and more meaningful grading experiences due to clearly stated evaluative criteria (Brescian, Zelna & Anderson, 2004). An analytic rubric, which allows for separate evaluation of each component of the assignment, has been shown to provide objective formative feedback to guide student performance (Oakleaf, 2009). In addition, studies of administrative and pedagogical advantages to using grading rubrics have been documented (Solan & Linardopoulos, 2011). Despite the growing body of research on rubrics as assessments of student performance and how students perceive them, few published findings focus on the rigorous use of standardized rubric tools in instructional and program assessments, or on the perceptions of faculty who use these standardized assessment tools (Reddy & Andrade, 2010).

This evidence-based presentation will discuss the development of a faculty educational program to promote effective use of standardized analytic rubrics for student assessment in nursing courses. The program development is based on our findings from a previous research study regarding faculty perceptions about the use of standardized assessment tools. This study involved faculty participants across thirteen campuses of a prelicensure baccalaureate nursing program from various regions of the United States.  Systematic assessments were evaluated for pedagological advantages to improve teaching-learning practices in the nursing program. The goals of the faculty educational program related to the use of standardized analytical rubrics include: (a) enhancing teaching effectiveness, (b) promoting an objective and reliable basis for student performance assessment, and (c) developing an efficient grading process.  Faculty enrichment regarding the effective use of assessment tools fosters internal consistency within the nursing program’s curriculum to support overall program assessment.