A rubric is a method that is used for scoring subjective assignments of students. It can be a method of assessing students in ways that is an improvement from the standard scoring method and it is a way of judging teaching quality and helping the teacher to be more effective.
Rubrics are commonly used to score essays, term papers, reports presentations, projects, and activities.
A rubric can be created by a teacher or by a of teacher and students. When it is created with the students, they feel a sense of ownership over their learning and scoring, plus the students have a better possibility of understanding the language that is used, since they were the ones to provide the wording. Even though there is concern that students may create a rubric that is too easy, usually the opposite is true, they generally make them harder than the teacher would.
More reliable outcomes are achieved by teachers using rubrics, despite the fear by some teachers that there would be too much variation in the scoring compared to items that have a key to grade with.
Both, the student and the teacher can benefit when using a rubric. By viewing the rubric ahead of time, the students know what is expected of an assignment. It tells them the expectations of the grading criteria, how to meet these expectations, and gives them feedback on how they did. This allows the student to grow in their critical thinking skills, and helps make their learning more effective.
Teachers also use rubrics to show their expectation and to judge how they shared their knowledge. By being more objective, rubrics make scoring easy, as long as it is clear and well-organized. If educators provide feedback to their students about their rubric score it allows the student to have concrete areas to work on to improve to meet the goal that the teacher, or teacher and students, have expected.
If there are to be several people scoring an assignment, rubrics can be beneficial. Each person is using the same criteria for each student. If each grader has a say in development of the rubric there will be even less variations in the expectations.
Rubrics are driven by the criteria that were used to create them. They can help develop cooperation in students as the students are not in competition with each other. Compared to standard scoring, where students are expected to score the norm for the assignment, rubrics show students what is expected of them before evaluation to provide them an opportunity to reach excellence.
Rubrics are an invaluable educator’s tool to help each student in the classroom succeed.