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Using a Scoring Rubric to Assess the Writing of Bioethics Students

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 March 2016

Abstract:

Educators in bioethics have struggled to find valid and reliable assessments that transcend the “reproduction of knowledge” to target more important skill sets. This manuscript reports on the process of developing and grading a minimal-competence comprehensive examination in a bioethics master’s degree program. We describe educational theory and practice for the creation and deployment of scoring rubrics for high-stakes performance assessments that reduce scoring inconsistencies. The rubric development process can also benefit the program by building consensus among stakeholders regarding program goals and student outcomes.

We describe the Structure of the Observed Learning Outcome taxonomy as a mechanism for rubric design and provide an example of how we applied that taxonomy to define pass/fail cut scores. Details about domains of assessment and writing descriptors of performance are also presented. Despite the laborious work required to create a scoring rubric, we found the effort to be worthwhile for our program.

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Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016 

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References

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