The Importance of Rubrics

Published: March 14th, 2016

Category: Blog

Rubrics are a critical component to student success in the ever-evolving online learning environment. A well-designed rubric will not only set a clear blueprint for an assignment, but by defining and clarifying expectations and demonstrating the importance of individual components, it encourages authentic self-assessment by students.

Creating a quality rubric initially takes a significant investment in time. Rubrics are not meant to merely be a checklist or a measure of factual information, but should be developed for assignments that are designed around processes and skills, or in cases where feedback about the quality of an activity is desirable. In order to achieve such an outcome, it is important to note the language used in developing a rubric is crucial. Always use objective indicators for performance levels that are constructive from the bottom up. Avoid using negative language that focuses on failure and does not coach for improvement. Try to use performance levels that will show what the student has actually accomplished in their work. In order to ensure maximum student effort, weight the criteria in a manner that matches the effort required.

Students are the not only ones to benefit from the use of rubrics. While creating a quality rubrics requires a significant time commitment initially, it will pay dividends for instructors in the long run. Having predetermined the expectations will allow for an increase in the speed of grading assignments and provide greater consistency over time and amongst graders. Furthermore, it allows for instructors to easily identify weak points and re-teaching opportunities, while offering powerful feedback.

Your turn to flex your brains – what makes the rubric below a good example?

rubric

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