Focusing on Rubrics

Many of us have used rubrics to grade our students.  They use rubrics for some of thier writing on state exams. Some of our teachers here use rubrics for students to grade examples of work. So this year I am moving away from rubrics that I make or some premade rubrics to student generated rubrics.

Getting students to make their own rubrics wasn’t an easy task. We had to go through several learning stages before we could make a rubric that would work. Here is a few observations that my students and I noticed.

1. Stay away from words that could have multiple views such as “like, few, and some” to name a few.
2. Use clear verbs. Each indicator should have a verb in that shows what they should be doing in thier presentation or project.  To become familar with verbs I posted Bloom’s Taxonomy.  We went over verbs that would be appropriate. We narrowed down to several verbs such as “define, summarize, participate, constructs”. We would narrow down verbs to what the project requires.
3. Rubric indicators should not be lengthy. They need to be direct, and to the point. The indicators should be only one sentence or phrase.

4. Limit the number of areas you assess to 3-4.

5. When you rank your assessments either by grade or by number scale keep it simple. I break my rubrics down by grade. I do “A”  which is excellent, “B/C” which is good, and “D/F” which indicates there is a need for improvement. I do it this way because I have gifted students who struggle with perfection. They have an idea of what it takes to get an “A”.

Before I set students making thier own I did a little bit more work. What I did was present my students with a few rubrics that had several mistakes. They had to fix the mistakes based on the suggestions above. Then we did a project where we made a rubric together with their input.  We did this using a Google Doc form which they filled in. We then revised it over a few days.

Once I felt they had a handle on rubrics, I had my students make their own. The student generated rubrics weren’t perfect, but they were better than I had imagined. The one aspect that I wanted my students to take away from this is that to get accurate feedback about your project or presentation you have to have the right assessment tool. That tool also has to be worded right to get worth while feedback.

Here are some exmaples of what my students produced:

Example 1

Exmaple 2



One thought on “Focusing on Rubrics

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