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Grading consistency is difficult to maintain over time because of fatigue, shifting standards based on prior experience, or intrusion of other criteria.Furthermore, rubrics can reduce the time spent grading by reducing uncertainty and by allowing instructors to refer to the rubric description associated with a score rather than having to write long comments.
Rubrics can be used for a wide array of assignments: papers, projects, oral presentations, artistic performances, group projects, etc.
Rubrics can be used as scoring or grading guides, to provide formative feedback to support and guide ongoing learning efforts, or both.
By recording the component scores and tallying up the number of students scoring below an acceptable level on each component, instructors can identify those skills or concepts that need more instructional time and student effort. A rubric can help instructors communicate to students the specific requirements and acceptable performance standards of an assignment.
When rubrics are given to students with the assignment description, they can help students monitor and assess their progress as they work toward clearly indicated goals.
Finally, rubrics force instructors to be clear about their own purposes for an assignment, and over time, instructors can become more attuned to the analytical possibilities in even traditional “busywork” assignments.
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Rubrics are a useful tool for setting expectations and grading student work.
By clearly expressing what excellence looks like, a rubric helps students understand what they need to work on.
It takes time to create a quality rubric, but this is where can help.
Although your particular field of study and type of assessment activity may not be represented currently, viewing a rubric that is designed for a similar activity may provide you with ideas on how to divide your task into components and how to describe the varying levels of mastery.
Although professors may be aware that rubrics shorten grading time and improve grading consistency, many are not aware that rubrics offer a powerful analytical punch.