Rubrics are defined as coherent sets of criteria for students’ work that include detailed descriptions of quality for a specific learning task. They are used in different subjects to guide student learning and assess its results. This study demonstrates the design and development of an assessment rubric for writing emails in English as a foreign language (EFL). As English emails are a key form of communication in the globalised world, it is essential to have a rubric which is both fit for classroom use and empirically validated. In our study, six raters were trained to assess a sample of N = 1017 emails from learners at lower secondary level in Switzerland. We evaluate the reliability of the ratings by assessing inter-rater agreement after a period of training and by comparing their scores to those of an expert rater. Further, we analyse the linguistic quality of learner texts by focusing on four key markers of emails and compare this analysis to our rubric based scores to analyse its face validity. Our results show high reliability and validity of the rubric. We discuss the potential of such rubrics to improve teaching quality in various subjects and learning domains.

Publication timeframe:
Volume Open
Journal Subjects:
Social Sciences, Education, Curriculum and Pedagogy, other