Rating scales can be effective when the goal for the assessor (either teacher or student) is to indicate the degree or frequency of behaviours or skills. Criteria for the rating scale are established, and then descriptive words such as “always, frequently, sometimes, or never” provide information. As stated in a Learn Alberta document on assessment1, “The more precise and descriptive the words for each scale point, the more reliable the tool.”
Whereas a checklist records whether or not the criteria is met, a rating scale is able to record the degree to which the student has reached the end goal, or how often the goal has been met. While rating scales are usually less descriptive of performance than rubrics, they can be a quick way to give information to both students and teacher, and can help in goal setting for future learning.
1Learn Alberta. Checklists, Rating Scales and Rubrics (Assessment). Retrieved 17 December 2020, from http://www.learnalberta.ca/content/mewa/html/assessment/checklists.html
2Learn Alberta. Checklists, Rating Scales and Rubrics (Assessment). Retrieved 17 December 2020, from http://www.learnalberta.ca/content/mewa/html/assessment/checklists.html