Implementing ExamSoft’s Rubrics

April 9, 2015 Beth Ennis

Dr. Beth Ennis is an ExamSoft client, and graciously agreed to share her experiences with implementing and using our testing and analytics platform with our blog audience.

Our program agreed to pilot ExamSoft’s rubric tool in the second semester of implementation. The obvious use was for our practical exams, but none of the courses with practicals were ready to try this yet. In fact, we spent most of the spring exploring the possibilities that the rubrics tool would afford us. It was summer when we really got going, and when we launched rubrics for grading projects, assignments, and practicals.

When we first started, rubrics was a basic service with limited grading flexibility. We were able to pre-release the rubrics (if we wanted to) so the students would know how they were being graded, but could not release results until the end of the semester. In the fall, additional features were added, allowing us to split up grading between several graders, have multiple graders assigned to each rubric, and even self-grading.

Our program used the multiple-graders feature in the fall, and we soon discovered a speed bump: while using the rubrics to grade presentations done by students in groups, several graders were assigned to each student, and we were able to grade the students in batches based on the groups they presented with. However, what we did not anticipate was that not every grader would be there as a part of the presentations. So while the faculty that were present completed grading, we could not release the results as they were considered incomplete.

Working with the ExamSoft staff, we figured out a way to view the results so we could grade the project. We have requested the ability to allow rubric grading to be finalized even if not every grader has completed. In the mean time, we printed the rubrics for our capstone projects, which were graded this spring in a similar manner, and then merged the data from each paper rubric into the system, with comments, to allow it to be released to the students.

We also began using rubrics for practical exams this spring, and so far, things have gone well. We are hoping to use rubrics in the future to allow students to grade each other on presentations (we have done this on paper in the past), as well as be able to shift a rubric from points to a scale without having to recreate the rubric, and have asked for this feature as well.

Simply put, rubrics have allowed us to formally standardize the evaluation of psychomotor skills, projects and presentations, and save paper. The ExamSoft rubrics tool has allowed us to use the categories we use with exams to further explore program effectiveness and student progress.

If you’re interested in learning more about ExamSoft’s solution or rubrics tool, please schedule a personalized tour here.


About the Author

Beth Ennis

Dr. Ennis is currently an Associate Professor at Bellarmine University, Department of Physical Therapy, and is involved in courses in Pediatrics, Teaching and Learning, Professional and Legal Issues and Technology. Research interests include use of technology in education, as well as using therapy to re-engage children with disabilities into the community.

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