Sunday, February 17, 2008

Following a Rubric

At times in the past when I've included a rubric with my projects, I'm amazed that there are students that turn in something that explicitly do not include something that was clearly stated as part of the grade. For example, I may give requirements for "color" or "citing a source" or such.

Now I see it's either because I'm just like the kids, or because we're all human, or I don't know what. I'm writing a paper based on my teaching (national board) and following their format of answering specific questions, and it's a bunch of work, and I'm trying to do a good job, and I'm reading and rereading the questions to make sure I answer them, and I'm patting myself on the back because I'm "answering their questions". I breathe a sigh of relief when I'm "done".

Wait. Now I go back and reread ALL the instructions, and there, clearly labeled is a rubric on how we'll be graded. This is in addition to answering their questions. So this means I will go back after I think I'm done and reread my words with an eye for how it will be graded. But I can so easily see how a student might just think he/she is done because they've done the assignment and they're sick of doing the assignment and they wish for the assignment to go away and they may not want to go back and check on how that assignment might be judged.

Maybe we have to have an extra day built into the assignment, and once they bring it to class to turn in, they have to spend some time reading the rubric and honestly judging if they did what they needed to do. Maybe looking at someone else's and judging constructively. Basically teaching them how to use a rubric.


  1. Anonymous10:03 AM

    We've had the 'advantage' of following a high-stakes 'rubric' -- college application, application for certification, job application (right, there's a checklist, if you don't have everything...)

    For kids, the lists might look awfully like a list of suggestions, until they pay the penalty once.

    Come to think about it, maybe the stakes are too low in a rubric. Leave out color, you lose 10%. In a college application, leave out the essay, they won't look at it.


  2. Anonymous4:33 PM

    Yes, both good points. I guess if the worst thing in the world is that you lost points because you didn't follow the rubric, it might teach you to look closer next time.

    Ooh! Maybe the project earns a 0% unless all aspects are covered, and you can turn it in as many times as possible until it's correct.

    Ms. Cookie