Video-or text-based rubrics: What is most effective for mental model growth of complex skills within formative assessment in secondary schools?

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Learners can experience difficulties to form a mental model of a complex skill and what its mastery implicates in terms of actual behavior. Text-based analytic rubrics can support training and formative assessment of complex skills. However, they lack (1) contextual information needed to convey real-world attributes (2) sensor-motoric information (such as gesturing in the complex skill of presenting) (3) procedural information needed to support the automation of (sub)skills. Text-based analytic rubrics deficiencies for skill-mastery can be remedied by adding video-modeling examples with embedded self-explanation prompts, turning text-based analytic rubrics (TR) into so-called ‘video-enhanced analytic rubrics’ (VERS). The current study contrasts two experimental conditions (TR, n = 54; VERS, n = 49) for fostering the growth of learners' mental model of complex skills. This was done using the formative assessment supporting Viewbrics online tool and one control condition with a secondary school's current approach for skills-development (without rubrics nor Viewbrics-formative assessment (n = 50)). We measured learners' mental models at three times during their project work by assessing the richness of their constructed concept maps. A multilevel regression analysis showed that learners in the VERS condition form richer mental models when compared to the control condition for most complex skills.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-258
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019



  • Video enhanced rubrics (formative) assessment complex skills mental models
  • Multimedia learning technology enhanced assessment

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