Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of rubric-referenced self-assessment on performance of anatomy assignments in a group of chiropractic students. Methods: Participants (N = 259) were first-quarter students who were divided into a treatment group (n = 130) and a comparison group (n = 129). The intervention for both groups involved the use of rubrics to complete the first draft of assignments. General feedback was given by the instructor, and then the students had the opportunity to amend the assignments before resubmission (second draft). The treatment group, however, was also asked to perform rubric-referenced self-assessment of their assignments during their second draft. Although the comparison group was also provided with the identical rubrics for the assignments, the students in this group did not perform rubric-referenced self-assessment. Results: The results revealed that the students in the treatment group who used a rubric-referenced self-assessment learning tool received statistically significant higher scores than the comparison group, who did not use this rubric-referenced self-assessment tool. Conclusion: This study suggests that practicing rubric-referenced self-assessment enhances student performance on assignments. However, educators continue to face the challenge of developing practical and useful rubric tools for student self-assessment.

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Author notes

Xiaohua He and Anne Canty are both professors at Palmer College of Chiropractic Florida.

* This paper was selected as a 2011 Association of Chiropractic Colleges Research Agenda Conference Prize Winning Paper. The award is funded by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners