Rubrics on Historical Thinking Skills for Assignments and Student Work: Initial Validity Evidence

Digital Promise sought to create and validate two sets of Historical Thinking Skills rubrics for use in its evaluation of Gates Ventures’ World History Project (WHP) curriculum: one for evaluating teacher-assigned activities, and another for evaluating the student work those activities produced. Adopting a principled assessment development approach called Evidence Centered Design (Mislevy et al., 2003), the Digital Promise team began by conducting an academic literature review to inform rubric design, then piloted the draft rubrics to test their validity by having expert world history teachers score a sample of world history assignments and associated student work and provide feedback on the rubrics and scoring process. We found that scores that trained raters assigned to activities and student work were generally consistent across scorers, and scorer feedback indicated that the rubrics did indeed measure valuable historical thinking skills. Based on an analysis of rubric scores and scorer feedback, our team revised the draft rubrics to their final form.
rubric, world history, social studies, historical thinking skills, validity