General Education Rubrics

Assessing Fundamental General Education Competencies

One of the challenges every campus faces is defining and assessing general education outcomes.  To meet accreditation requirements at the department and at the university level, our general education outcomes must be defined clearly so that they can be universally recognized and measured.  This “common language” is critical for our Middle States Review process, and it also helps us to recognize where our students need additional instruction or guidance.  In 2013, members of the Academic Outcomes and Assessment Committee, along with additional faculty volunteers, created descriptive rubrics for each of Millersville’s general education outcomes.

Rubrics Explained:

Descriptive rubrics (also known as analytic rubrics) spell out performance standards for each outcome or competency, and consequently make explicit the difference between an advanced and proficient level of performance.  They are quantifiable and can be used for formative or summative assessment.  Because of their precision, these types of rubrics are considered the gold standard of rubrics, they are very useful when several faculty will be examining student’s work, and they are excellent tools that can provide detailed feedback to students.  Finally, in addition to their utility in assessment, these rubrics can also be used in the classroom as instructional tools, and/or tailored for grading assignments.

It is important to recognize that the levels of achievement described in the rubrics are not designed for a particular course level (e.g. first-year, sophomore); rather, the levels of achievement are meant to span all levels from first-year to senior.  Therefore, it is important to recognize that the levels of achievement do not necessarily correspond to a letter grade.  For example, a first-year student who scores 2s on the public speaking rubric might be at a high-level of achievement for the course level and may earn an A on the assignment, whereas a senior student who scores 2s on the rubric might be low achieving for a senior level course and would earn a lower grade for the assignment.   We would expect that a student would progress up the levels as they progressed through the university.

Critical Thinking Rubric     

The critical thinking rubric was developed by AOAC members Robyn Davis, Leslie Gates, Lynn Marquez, Daniel O'Neill, Lisa Schreiber and Lisa Shibley.  The critical thinking team identified six outcomes for assessing critical thinking.  Three of those outcomes were identified as optional depending upon the type of assignment or discipline.

Information Literacy Rubric

The information literacy rubric was developed by AOAC members Antonia Cardwell, Judith Halden-Sullivan, Lisa Schreiber and Ryan Wagner.  Library faculty Rachel Gammons and Jessica George provided additional expertise.

Public Speaking Rubric 

The public speaking rubric was developed by Dr. Lisa Schreiber and carries a copyright.  Dr. Schreiber has granted MU faculty exclusive permission to use the rubric.  However, authorship should be acknowledged appropriately.

Writing Rubric

The writing rubric was developed by an ad hoc committee that included William Archibald, Caleb Corkery, Kerrie Farkas, Judith Halden-Sullivan, Kimberly McCollum-Clark and Tracey Weis.  

Technological Competency Rubrics

Technological literacy is the ability to discriminate between, select, and use technology effectively and responsibly to accomplish a task or solve a problem.  The Academic Outcomes Assessment Committee determined that the use of technology does not happen in a vacuum, but rather within disciplinary practices.  Therefore, AOAC elected to make auxiliary technological literacy rubrics to be used in conjunction with the general education rubrics above.