Monday, December 19, 2011

Introduction to Rubrics

The book "Introduction to Rubrics: An Assessment Tool to Save Grading Time, Convey Effective Feedback and Promote Student Learning" by Dannelle Stevens and Antonia J. Levi gives a good, short (131 pages) overview of how to make marking for university assignments easier. A rubric is a table laying out what and how the assignment will be marked. This has particular value with e-learning, where the assignments are submitted on-line and the marking sheet can also be in electronic format (are there rubrics built as add-on modules for Moodle?).

But as with many educational innovations, rubrics require more up-from work by the teacher (or educational designer). The rubric may save time later when marking (and form not having to justify the marking to the students individually) but takes work in advance to create.

Also the idea of reducing marking to ticking or circling some items in a table may offend the academics' view of themselves. They want to be seen as providing detailed scholarly advice to students, not just doing tick and flick multiple choice marking. But as the book points out, the student's have difficulty understanding detailed comments and find detailed corrections of their work insulting.

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