To continue the light switch analogy, a rating scale is like a dimmer switch that provides for a range of performance levels. I believe in one thing specifically: Grading based purely off of assessments is setting kids up for major anxiety and feelings of failure.
They may be used to assess individuals or groups and, as with rating scales, may be compared over time. Encourage students to assist with constructing appropriate criteria. Get this free project-based learning rubric here.
This process facilitates a deeper understanding of the intended outcomes and the associated assessment criteria.
Use simple formats that can be understood by students and that will communicate information about student learning to parents. Provide guidance to students to use and create their own checklists, rating scales and rubrics for self-assessment purposes and as guidelines for goal setting.
Example: Involve students in the assessment process by having them participate in the creation of a rubric.
Added value Increase the assessment value of a checklist or rating scale by adding two or three additional steps that give students an opportunity to identify skills they would like to improve or the skill they feel is most important.
Developing Rubrics and Scoring Criteria Rubrics are increasingly recognized as a way to both effectively assess student learning and communicate expectations directly, clearly and concisely to students.