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Assessment: RUBRICS

What is a rubric and why should I bother to use one?

If learning is a journey, then rubrics are like maps for that journey. We already use many different maps for students: checklists, grading criteria, rating scales, critiques, qualitative rubrics, holistic rubrics, each useful depending on the destination. A checklist is great for basic skills that have yes and no answers and don’t require any indication of where the student is on the yes and no scale. A rating scale collects information on how often something happens (often on a scale of 1-5) but the numbers don’t necessarily have any relative meaning.

A rubric is a scoring tool that looks like a matrix with a list of criteria that contains descriptors in a performance scale which tells the students what the different levels of performance looks like. They help the student understand where they are in the development of their work, and help them to become independent learners. They also help save on grading time because once you’ve made one, you can just circle the categories.

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