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Flipping the Script: How EPiC™ Disrupts Conventional Rubic-based Scoring

Historically, teacher preparation programs have used conventional scoring rubrics to rate their teacher candidate's culminating performance assessments. Though a conventional rubric may summarize specific characteristics for each level, the criteria are not weighted so the candidates receive only a Likert-scale score (e.g., “1”, “2”, “3”, “4”) for a given rubric, without breaking the feedback down into separate and discrete behaviors. This process not only yields questionable reliability among trained scorers but removes the critical formative assessment coaching and feedback cycle from the teacher preparation experience.

The EPiC™ Support Dashboard scoring tool effectively disrupts the conventional rubric-based scoring model by using concrete evidence to electronically transform snippets of the EPiC™ Key Assessment Rubric into the type of detailed criteria needed in a coaching feedback approach. The advantage of using an evidence-based scoring system is that the criterion are weighted so specific feedback can be provided for candidates on both their strengths and weaknesses simultaneously. But most importantly for teacher candidates, an evidence-based scoring system improves transparency by providing them with a clearer picture of why they received the score they did and provides opportunities for feedback.

Early results of this paradigm shift in rubric-based scoring have been positive and stand to further improve the inter-rater reliability of scoring. Since the evidence-based scoring model places a premium on formative assessment, EPP faculty members and coaches can now provide timely feedback on candidate performance throughout the preparation program using selected rubrics (e.g., Rubric A-1: Planning Standards-Based & Content-Specific Instruction). Using the rubrics to facilitate a coaching and feedback cycle, candidates are encouraged to take corrective action on their areas of need before completing their final performance assessment or to remediate sections of the assessment where improvement is still needed after its completion.

Using a set of specific evidence-based markers or keys derails issues involving ambiguous rubric wording or excessive inter-rater reliability training by offering concrete and observable universal “look-fors” applicable to any PreK-12 classroom and content area. Additionally, utilizing the evidence-based "look-fors" for scoring makes the EPiC™ Key Assessment universally flexible, enabling preparation providers to pick and choose the delivery of the assessment components aligned with their program's sequence of coursework. 

Nurturing a consistent cycle of targeted coaching and timely feedback is as paramount to teacher candidate success as it is to the success of any Pre-K-12 classroom student. The EPiC™ Key Assessment’s focus on formative guidance enables teacher candidates to make authentic connections between the feedback and their daily actions as aspiring professional educators. 

This post is the first in a series of upcoming posts about how the EPiC™ Key Assessment uses evidence to score teacher candidate performance assessments analytically. Future posts will explore key topics from each of the ten EPiC™ rubrics along with sample evidence-based markers or keys that showcase how the concrete evidence is used to disrupt conventional rubric-based scoring and support teacher candidates in successfully mastering essential teaching skills.

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