Using Rubrics to Increase Teacher Effectiveness
Dorit Sasson | Teaching.monster.com
With standard assessment based practices, it’s not always easy for teachers to monitor the learning and growth of their students. When students are given a “C,” or a comment like “good work” – how is it possible for them to know what they did well versus what they didn’t? How can students improve their work and how can teachers improve their instruction?
Rubrics in this respect, gives the students relevant and timely feedback without diminishing their effort into preparing the assignment.
With rubrics, teachers can align their benchmarks/standards of proficiency based on the skill sets they have already taught. By aligning their instruction to match assessment criteria, students know in advance how they can get a good grade.
What I particularly like about using rubrics is that they can be customized to suit the content of a classroom. In the past, I’ve also had students evaluate their own and their peers’ performance using rubrics; in some classes, we decided together on the criteria for evaluation. Coming up with the criteria can be tricky but using them to evaluate students’ work becomes a breeze.
Students also know in advance what they need to strive for and how they can improve their grades. It’s also comforting for students to know they can get in-between grades.
Rubrics becomes somewhat of a learning tool or reference for the students in making sure their work meets the necessary requirements and standards.
Here are some other ways you enhance the process of using rubrics:
1. Add comments. Comments are invaluable and important and add that personal touch that caters to a more holistic student-teacher learning approach.
2. If possible, have students self-evaluate their work and the work of their peers. In a tutorial, finalize the assessment grade should there be wide differences. This was especially helpful if the student thought s/he deserved an “A” either on an assignment or as a final grade but I saw his/her evaluation differently.
Editor’s Rubric Pick: Rubistar
RubiStar is a free tool to help teachers create quality rubrics.