Making Assessment Criteria Clear to Students

Why is Clear Assessment Criteria Important?

The degree of clarity and precision with which we design our questions and problems in an assignment– i.e. with no criteria, vague criteria, or clear criteria – directly impacts how much we have set up our students for success. The activity you have completed earlier in this section (“Say ‘Yes’ (or ‘No’) to the Dress”) helped you experience how different levels of clarity in an assignment can prepare learners for completing a task. The clarity of assignment criteria not only helps to determine the ease and readiness with which learners take on the task, but also the quality of the outcome, depending on how they interpret the expectations. A useful assessment tool, called a rubric, lists all of the specific criteria that students work should demonstrate, and describes the quality level for each criterion.