As a composition instructor, I’ve struggled with my own rubrics of late, trying to modify an analytical rubric or redesign a holistic rubric for different assignments.I’ve even asked students to design their own rubric in order to examine what they perceive as important criteria for the assessment of their essays.Holistic rubrics tend to combine the necessary criteria into one single grade assessment of the overall piece, having closely measured that piece against the requirements for the writing assignment.
Because teaching is filled with spirited debate about best practices, the passionate responses to the National Council of Teachers of English’s recent Facebook post asking how instructors feel about grading rubrics should be no surprise.
Some teachers embrace rubrics as an incredible device for communicating instructor expectations and grading students’ written work.
If used effectively, rubrics can help improve students' writing.
Well-developed introduction engages the reader and creates interest. Thesis clearly states a significant and compelling position or belief.
He cites research supporting the idea that targeted rubrics result in student writing with less, not more, depth of thought.
These pieces of writing might measure well on a rubric, but result in students who do not have confidence in their own ability to decipher the rules of writing without using a rubric as a guideline for creation.
Instructors can use the rubrics in their current form.
They can also modify the language and rubric elements to meet the specific needs of their assignment or assessment goal. AAC&U requests that users register before downloading PDF or Word versions of the rubrics to assist their research on rubric use.
These graders give feedback specific to each essay; doing so reinforces to students that rules of writing are not standard, arbitrary or incomprehensible.
While it can be difficult to align this sort of grading technique with department expectations and assessment, students can be encouraged to practice skills that would appear in a standardized test while not being forced to standardize their writing product.