Use of Evaluation Rubrics

Evaluating in complexity

Are you struggling to evaluate where the context keeps changing? Do your plans keep morphing into something different? Are different parts of the programme having varying degrees of success? Is there a gap between plans and reality? Do you still need to evaluate progress? If you answered yes, this presentation is for you.

Rubrics can help when progress is not linear and as anticipated.  Rubrics can offer flexibility and can adapt to change. They can also help keep the evaluation relevant and capture unanticipated outcomes.

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Evaluation rubrics – passing fad or an important contribution to evaluation practice

Judy Oakden presented this paper at the Anzea Conference in Auckland, in July 2013.

Evaluation rubrics offer a transparent way to make clear the judgments used in an evaluation. They assess the quality, the value or the importance of the programme or service evaluated. The presenter sees increased use of rubrics by evaluators during the past few years. Many organisations in New Zealand now use evaluative rubrics. But they are not easy to use. This session explored some of the lessons learned in the use of rubrics.

What is on the rubrics horizon?

Evaluators in Aotearoa New Zealand are increasingly using rubrics in their evaluative practice. We now have a working knowledge about using rubrics and have some sense of what makes them more or less effective. While rubrics have shifted our evaluation practice, it has not been without challenges. Judy observes “I’d put my money on rubrics being here to stay, but I think we need to understand the challenges of using them and mitigate against the risks.”

In this e-book Judy Oakden and Melissa Weenink explore some of the challenges they have encountered using rubrics in their practice. They also include feedback from a discussion during a practice-based session at the ANZEA Conference in Auckland, New Zealand in 2015 where they explored difficulties they and others face with rubrics.

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Evaluation rubrics: how to ensure transparent and clear assessment that respects diverse lines of evidence

This is a practice example which is part of Judy Oakden’s early writing on how evaluators can use rubrics to make evaluative judgements. It details how the use of rubrics supports robust data collection and frames the analysis and reporting. Judy Oakden wrote this detailed account of the process as part of the first Better Evaluation writeshop process, led by Irene Guijt. 

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Rubrics: A Method for Surfacing Values and Improving the Credibility of Evaluation; Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation

This is a practice-based article by the Kinnect Group members (Julian King, Kate McKegg, Judy Oakden, Nan Wehipeihana). It shares the Group’s learnings on the use of evaluative rubrics to deal with the challenge of surfacing values and improving the credibility of evaluation. Evaluative rubrics enable values to be dealt with in a more transparent way. In the Group’s experience, when evaluators and evaluation stakeholders get clearer about values, evaluative judgments become more credible and warrantable.

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