Notes on Rubrics

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History of Rubrics

Rubric Examples

The Paradox of Rubrics

Generative and Creative Rubrics

Creating Better Rubrics

  1. Consider if the students need the rubric, even if you do.
  2. Consider where to use a rubric: focus on iteration and refinement, the rubric as a tool for formative assessment and revision.
  3. Avoid overly complex rating scales in which the difference from value to value is of little practical meaning.
  4. Blank spots are OK, particularly if there are more than three values and on relatively objective criteria.
  5. Allow for the unknown and surprise; provide for holistic evaluation.
  6. Lose (most of the) rubrics. Use them like a strong spice: where it makes the most sense in your overall approach and where the objective evaluation of tasks and attributes makes the most sense (usually in the formative stage).
  7. Always keep in mind: performance is not the same as learning; there is often value in cognitive friction and dissonance.
  8. Saving time, which is most often an underlying motivator for “rubricizing,” is good for teachers, not necessarily good for teachING.

Rubric Resources