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Proficiency Scales and Rubrics

Proficiency Scales and Rubrics


In this lesson you will learn how to create a rubric and a proficiency scale aligned to content standards and ISTE Standards

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Source: Globe, Clker,; Stick Figure, Clker,

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Hello everyone and welcome. The name of today's lesson is Proficiency Scales and Rubrics. And in it we'll also be taking a look at a website called iRubric's. Let's get started.

Proficiency scales can be created for any subject area and at any grade level. You start by what it is you want students to know, or know how to do, and work from there. The learning goal can come right from the standards you are using. Be it common core state standards, next generation science standards, historical thinking, ISTE, or any combination of them all.

A scale is rated from low to high, and it's used to measure competencies on a specific scale. They typically include a wider base of scores. You can see lots of examples on Robert Marzano's website

Here are the basic steps to creating a proficiency scale. You start by creating a learning goal, and you place that goal in the middle of your scale. Based on that goal, you create a higher level goal. And then you do the same in the opposite direction. A one or a zero do not have any goals associated with them.

In this lesson we'll take a look at creating a standards based rubric. A standards based rubric measures multiple competencies, and is typically scored on a four point rubric. We'll do this using the website iRubric. So let's get started with that.

For the purposes of this example I've chosen the following learning goals. The first comes from Common Core State Standard and ELA for literacy in grade 3. With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing. I've also selected ISTE Standard 2. Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

After creating a free account and logging in to iRubric, look for the option that says Build from scratch. You'll see the light bulb icon with an arrow pointing to a rubric. That will get you to the default screen where you'll see a place to enter the title of the rubric, a place to define your scores horizontally, and a place to enter your title of what you are scoring vertically.

You'll also notice the add level/column icon in the upper right hand screen. By simply selecting that option you'll have a fourth column, which I'm going to go with here. As you can see I've changed the names of my levels to below proficient, nearly proficient, proficient, and exceeds proficiency. And down the left hand column I've added revising, editting, two of the learning goals from the Common Core State Standard, and use of digital media from the ITSE Standard. I went ahead and copied those sections of the standards right in column three for proficiency.

Next, I would take my three proficient and turn it into a four, exceeds proficiency. Then, I would do the same in the other direction for a two. You continue this process until the entire rubric was filled.

So let's summarize what we covered in this lesson. We reviewed the definition of proficiency scales. We took an overview of the basic steps to creating a proficiency scale. We selected our learning goals for our example. And we created a rubric using iRubric.

Here's today's food for thought, and it's a simple one. Create an iRubric account and just play with it. To dive a little deeper and learn how to apply this information, be sure to check out the additional resources section associated with this video. This is where you'll find links targeted toward helping you discover more ways to apply this course material. Thanks so much for watching. We'll see you next time.

Notes on "Proficiency Scales and Rubrics"

(00:00-00:11) Intro

(00:12-01:09) Proficiency Scales

(01:10-01:24) Standards Based Rubrics

(01:25-01:59) Learning Goals

(02:00-03:40) iRubric Example

(03:41-04:00) Summary

(04:01-04:25) Food For Thought

Additional Resources

Data Notebooks/Folders

This is a great resource for using rubrics in student data folios from Montgomery County Public Schools. This link will bring you to a comprehensive staff development page with an overview of how and why to use data folios. In addition, you will find images and examples of data folios in use. Further, emphasis is made on the impact of data folios on raising student achievement.



iRubrics is a great website that helps teachers design and write rubrics. Teachers can save and revise their rubrics. In addition, teachers can also select rubrics that other teachers have created and have shared publicly.


Proficiency Scales for Elementary Units

Resource from Martin County Public School on using proficiency scales and designing proficiency scales. This website from the Martin County Public School provides a link that explains how to use and design proficiency scales. Further links are provided by subject areas to proficiency scales that you can use as is or as models to design your own.