Not all rubrics are created equal. There are instances when each dimension (row) of a rubric has the same value, however, there are also times when dimensions vary in importance. The same goes for achievement levels (columns). Certain circumstances call for varied achievement level value depending on the intended use of the rubric.
Given the rubric example below and looking specifically at dimensions Positive Attitude and Collaboration we can see that each are worth the same point value, 50 points.
Consider this, if you are evaluating a campus tour guide using the rubric above, it is likely that a guide’s level of knowledge about the campus and all it has to offer prospective students, holds more value in recruitment than the guide’s positive attitude. Positive Attitude is an important dimension but it is less likely you will sell a student on the campus at the same level when comparing Positive Attitude and Campus Knowledge. In other words, the knowledge a prospective student gains about the institution will play a larger role in their final decision than whether or not the tour guide had a positive attitude. To account for this variance in importance, we have weighted our rubric dimensions so that Campus Knowledge is a possible 70 points while Positive Attitude is 30 points.
Weighting Achievement Levels
Just as with weighted dimensions, there are instances when individuals will alter achievement levels (columns) based off of the rubric’s purpose. Using our campus tour guide example, there are three instances of weighting. In the first case the Beginner level earns 40 points while in the second example Beginner begins at 25 points, and the third at 0 points. Remember that rubrics are not created equal and neither are campus tour guides. An experienced tour guide in their third and fourth years should demonstrate greater campus knowledge. And as an evaluator you would have higher expectations of these guides than you would for first or second-year guides. Not wanting to discourage our first-year guides, we set the point value for Beginner higher than for second or third and fourth-year guides. As a result, through weighting the achievement levels we are able to assess all tour guides accounting for years of experience and expectations while using the same rubric dimensions and descriptions.
Case 1: First-year Tour Guide
Case 2: Second-year Tour Guide
Case 3: Third and Fourth-year Tour Guide