Why use a rubric when a checklist will do?

If learning is a journey, think of drama assessment as a means of transporting students from place to place - from basic knowledge to masterful and complex thinking about subjects where they can synthesize and assimilate ideas.  In life, we often choose our mode of transportation or vehicle based on where we are and where we want to go.  The same is true for choosing the collection tools we use in assessment.  Which tool is appropriate for where students are now?  Which tool will best move them forward?

There are a variety of collection tools available for conducting student assessment: checklists, rating scales, qualitative rubrics, and holistic rubrics to name a few.  Since selecting the right tool has to do with the learner and their journey to understanding concepts and mastering the skills, rubrics are sometimes, but not always, the answer.  How, then, do we determine which tool is most beneficial? 

Karen Erickson, a national consultant in arts education and professional artist, discusses when to choose checklists over rubrics in her article written in conjunction with the Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE).  Download her article to read more about rubrics vs. checklists and their application in drama.

On this site, we provide members with drama assessments they can add to use with activities and lessons.  We also have drama rubrics [for members] for the introductory lessons that members can adapt and use for their particular situation.