Method in focus: Rubrics | BetterEvaluation.org

Next week BetterEvaluation will launch the first in a series of papers written by practitioners describing their evaluation experiences. The series of ten papers will cover a range of subjects such as commissioning and managing expectations, evaluating networks, mixing methods, defining assessment criteria, managing involvement of children, formative evaluation and building evaluative capacity. The first paper, by Judy Oakden, focuses on the use of rubrics to define appropriate assessment criteria in an evaluation of an education programme in New Zealand, particularly addressing equality issues for Māori and Pasifika students.

With this launch we want to highlight the rubrics method and give you a chance to learn more about it and how it can benefit your evaluations. We will be posting two blogs on this topic next week, the first will introduce rubrics, pointing to some useful resources, and the second will be a guest blog from Judy Oakden, introducing her paper and describing the value of rubrics in her particular case.

Rubrics enable comparative qualitative assessment by allowing different units (communities, projects, programs, organisations) to be judged against a shared set of criteria. They also enable multiple assessors to apply the same criteria to assessing different units. This is important for transparency and fairness when units are being evaluated, or when there are multiple evaluators, and enables the standardization and comparison of results. Finally, rubrics enable project managers to gather interim feedback before the end of a project or assessment period, and helps them to better understand the assessment or evaluation their work has received.

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