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Different Perspectives

Page history last edited by LCI, Ltd. 5 years, 9 months ago

 

Have a different perspective on rubrics?

 

In recent years, there has been no shortage of rubric criticism and commentary. Alfie Kohn's article "The Trouble with Rubrics" is frequently shared and passed around when rubrics are mentioned. A discussion of Maja Wilson's book Rethinking Rubrics in Writing Assessment inspired several weeks of discussion on The English Companion Ning. In addition, many educational bloggers have posted entries about their dislike for rubrics or how they feel they are killing students' creativity.

 

For any educator, regardless of content or grade level, there are times when we focus on quality over quantity, authentic tasks over approximations of tasks. Logically, we cannot stand behind each student, providing on-the-spot feedback. It is not possible, nor desirable, for a student's improvement to be dependent on external feedback. Students must work independently and we need to have some way of ensuring they understand what they are working toward. This is not about the de-humanization of learning or the student or trying to remove subjectivity. Rather, it's about taking the concept of "quality" and translating into a way that enables a student to self-assess and improve the quality of their work. Best case scenario, students generate this translation themselves and play a key role in the conversation about quality.

 

For us, the conversation about rubrics cycles back to the question: If you're not using rubrics to communicate your expectations around quality, what are you using? 

 

When the response is "I tell them" or something similar, another question might be: What are you using for students to refer to when you're not around? or How can we help learners improve the quality of their work without forcing them to wait for external feedback?

 

If you're still feeling hesitant about rubrics, we'd like to offer a few different starting points for exploring the strength of quality rubrics:

  • If your concern is that rubrics break learning down into smaller parts and limit creativity, we invite you to explore the page on the difference between checklists and rubrics.
  • If you're curious about the resources and research behind rubrics, we invite you to check out some the resources we've collected. 
  • If you're a fan of rubrics because they are quick and easy, we invite you to explore the page on using on-line rubrics

 

We'd love you hear your thoughts about rubrics - how you've used them, advantages, disadvantages, other ways of sharing expectations. If you don't already have one, please create an account with PBWorks and share your thoughts in the comments below. Periodically, we'll add comments to this page to ensure that multiple perspectives are represented.

 

An example of quality rubric with context

 

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