How to write a Design Technologies assessment rubric

rubric for assessment, usually in the form of a matrix or grid, is a tool used to interpret and grade students’ work against criteria and standards. With the Australian curriculum, we have the Achievement Standard and the Content Descriptors which provide teachers with the criteria and standards of which to assess. So where do you begin?

I like to begin with my student learning outcome and work my way backwards. That is, I look at my learning outcome and ask myself what do students need to do in order to achieve the outcome? Lets look at an example. Below is part of the Year 5-6 Achievement Standard which I wanted to cover for a unit of work on household tools:

Students describe a range of needs, opportunities or problems and define them in terms of functional requirements…. Students generate and record design ideas for specified audiences using appropriate technical terms, and …..

The Content Descriptors associated with my unit of work were:
Investigate characteristics and properties of a range of materials, systems, components, tools and equipment and evaluate the impact of their use
Critique needs or opportunities for designing, and investigate materials, components, tools, equipment and processes to achieve intended designed solutions
Generate, develop and communicate design ideas and processes for audiences using appropriate technical terms and graphical representation techniques

Using the Achievement Standard and the Content Descriptors, I then create a student learning outcome, or a report outcome. For this unit of work my student outcome was:
Evaluates and critiques the design features and functionality of design products

Then it is is time to start working on your assessment rubric. As a starting point, break your student learning outcome into smaller parts which can be assessed. For this unit, I broke my student learning outcome into 4 main parts:
– Evaluation of function of tools
– Evaluation of design features of tools
– Critique of current tools
– Critique of modified tools

Next, you need to write what you want your students to do in order to meet each of these parts at a satisfactory level. For example, for ‘Evaluation of function of tools’, at a satisfactory level for this unit, students needed to ‘Draw a diagram of the tools, labelling the parts and functions’. Then you can use a range of adjectives to distinguish between an above average and below average standard, like this:

(A) Drew a very detailed diagram of the tools, clearly outlining the function of each part
(B) Drew a detailed diagram of the tools, outlining the function of each part
(C) Drew a diagram of the tools, labelling the parts and functions
(D) Drew a brief diagram of the tools, labelling some parts
(E) Drew a diagram of the tools

So where do you get a word bank of adjective to use? Well, I created the one below which you are welcome to use. I found some of the words from the Proficiency Standards and thought of some myself.


This is what my final assessment rubric looked like:



Assessment Rubric Ideas JVillis-1dxbjar

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