Organizations characterized by rapid technological changes and complex expertise benefit from employees with complex (21st century) skills. Development of complex (21st century) skills (such as collaboration, presentation, and information literacy) requires insight into the learner's progress and should be seen as an ongoing, iterative process. Education in these skills is explicitly needed (Brand-Gruwel & Gerjets, 2008). Complex (21st century) skills in secondary education are applied across subjects (math, language, history) and domains (healthcare, ICT). Dutch schools recognize the importance of learning complex (21st century) skills and design learning tasks for acquiring complex (21st century) skills to prepare learners for their future lives (Onderwijsraad, 2014). An often-used instrument for schools to gain insight into complex (21st century) skills is the text-based rubric.
A text-based rubric can be an effective instrument for learning and assessing complex (21st century) skills, as they provide a detailed description of subskills and associated mastery levels of a complex skill (Jonsson & Svingby, 2007; Panadero, Tapia, & Huertas, 2012)learning and self-efficacy in interaction with two other independent variables (type of instructions and feedback. However, learners still experience difficulties understanding what the mastery of a complex (21st century) skill entails (in terms of behavior) when using textual rubrics. It can be challenging to express dynamic and contextual (aspects of) behavior into words (Ackermans, Rusman, Brand-Gruwel, & Specht, 2017). For example, learning to ride a bicycle can be described in words, but textually describing the interaction between balance, steering, and speed may be challenging. Adding videos showing modeling examples can help to get a better understanding of the skill.
In the Viewbrics project, two Dutch schools for pre-university education in collaboration with the Open University, investigated whether the integration of video-modeling examples with textual rubrics (leading to a ‘video-enhanced rubric’) within an online formative assessment methodology (precipitated in the Viewbrics online tool), could offer a more efficient and effective solution for formatively assessing and learning complex skills.
The Viewbrics online tool is a digital 360-degree formative assessment instrument, which embeds a 5-step formative assessment method. First, learners get a clearer picture of what it is they are meant to be learning. Second, learners go 'into the real world' to practice a skill. Third, learners self-assess their performance using rubrics. Fourth, a 'skill performance feedback wheel' visualizes teacher and peers’ feedback on learners’ (sub-)skills. Fifth, learners describe, based on the analysis of feedback, their future learning goals. We chose to limit the complex (21st century) skills addressed by the Viewbrics online tool to collaboration, presentation, and information literacy together with the participating schools. These three skills could easily be assessed in existing project-based education and illustrate the wide range of complex (21st century) skills.
In the Viewbrics project, the effect of the Viewbrics online tool (and its formative assessment methodology) on learners' mental model of a skill, complex skill performance, and (quantity and quality of) feedback, compared to learners in the standard curriculum was studied. Additionally, the effects of using video-enhanced rubrics versus textual rubrics within the methodology were studied. Results are described in this thesis.