Product of the March 23 PLC Meeting Ms. Marti Guerra wrote an article in which she explains the dynamics of the meetings and its results.
We have been working on developing rubrics for our levels at the PLC meetings. This has been an excellent learning experience for me. Although I am familiar with rubrics I had not developed my own rubric for tests or exams I give to my students.
Working together with instructors who teach our level, we first developed rubrics for CORE Writing Standards. That proved to be a challenging task, since there are so many writing tasks appropriate for this level. But with trial and error and application (testing) we were able to construct specific rubrics to test our students on specific writing tasks.
We Tested 10 Questions
For Beginning ESL 1 we used 10 sentences for students to rewrite by correcting spelling, punctuation and subject/verb agreement. One instructor had the students write their own sentences instead of giving them incorrect sentences to correct; however, we used the same rubric to correct the sentences. We did not correct our own students’ tests, but exchanged the tests with other instructors in our group to see if we would get the same points. We found that the rubric worked well, since the points assessed were much the same, give or take a few points.
Other levels of ESL assessed
Besides testing the rubric among instructors in our own level, we also exchanged tests with other levels, i.e., Intermediate 2 and Beginning 2. We were given the rubrics they had written for their level, and we graded the students’ work using the appropriate rubrics. The rubrics proved to be helpful, since our points were similar to what their points were. We found the Beginning 2 rubrics a bit problematic and we discussed this with some of the instructors.
I discovered that a few of my sentences needed to be written—they were unclear and could be corrected in more than one way, which would cause different points to be assessed depending on the sentence constructed. I will rewrite these sentences so that there can be only one way to rewrite the sentences correctly.
We encourage everyone to come and join us and work with us to continue to work on CORE Writing Standards. We usually meet every other Friday, from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
ESL Instructor, Beginning 1