Yorktown University (YU) aims to ensure authentic assessment tools that clearly define and accurately measure its learning environment/curricula/and outcomes for its students, faculty, program chairs, board of advisers, trustees, and institutional consultants.
YU, as among its peer educational organizations, uses the "rubric" assessment measurement for awarding grades to its students. A rubric is an assessment that is criterion- rather than norm-referenced. It is most often used in learner-centered education, where students can control the pace and expanse of their course progress, such as in distance-learning delivery system.
Rubric assessments represent an important incentive in the "Active Self-Learning" pedagogy. Because assessments take place throughout a student's course work rather than at its conclusion, such assessments offer students regular and immediate cues about their progress. Students can thereby modify their pace and effort to meet assessment levels. Indeed, students participate, as a learning exercise, in their own assessment and as a result take direct ownership in their learning process.
By presenting rubrics in course syllabi, students have a well-defined means to score assignments before submitting them. In fact, requesting students to use the assignment or course rubric to analyze and score work before submitting it, turns the tables sufficiently to apply another level of objective consideration to their work. When a rubric is well designed and used as an ongoing self-assessment assignment, it becomes a critical thinking-learning tool: Students can
- qualify areas needing improvement
- recognize personal learning styles
- strategically mitigate their strengths and weakness
- work with and within clearly defined perimeters
Moreover, faculty and students should regard course-scoring tool(s) as evolving, rather than static elements. Assessment tools are continually improved by focusing on how they accurately reflect and encourage "active self-learning." As a consequence, all assessment tools, including YU's, are continually undergoing revision, tweaking, recalibration in terms of evaluation criteria, with an unswerving eye toward improving learning-outcome measurements for its students.
An example of the Grading Rubrics is located at: http://www.yorktownuniversity.com/documents/rubrics.pdf.