Rubric Making Tips and Tools for Teachers and Educators

In yesterday’s post we talked about grading and we featured a number of apps to help teachers with their grading.  In today’s post we cover a closely related concept: rubrics. These are scoring  and criterion-referenced guidelines teachers create to help with, among other things, the assessment of students performance. A rubric, according to Deborah Allen and Kimberly Tanner, “denotes a type of matrix that provides scaled levels of achievement or understanding for a set of criteria or dimensions of quality for a given type of performance, for example, a paper, an oral presentation, or use of teamwork skills.”

Two major functions of rubrics are: guiding and assessing. They guide students as to what is expected of them in a given  activity or assignment and they also assist teachers in evaluating students performance along a pre-defined set of values, standards, and objectives. Rubrics can be used by “a teacher to assess a student, a student to assess a peer, or a student to self-assess their own work” (TeachersFirst). Two main types of rubrics are to be distinguished here: Holistic and Analytic rubrics.1- Holistic rubrics: A holistic rubric is general in scope and uses a single scale where all assessment criteria are grouped into a single criteria used to assess the overall performance of students work.”Performance descriptions are written in paragraphs and usually in full sentences”. (Queens University).2- Analytic rubricsAn analytic rubric addresses specific areas in students performance. It resembles a grid “with the criteria for a student product listed in the leftmost column and with levels of performance listed across the top row often using numbers and/or descriptive tags.” (Depaul).Reasons why you should use rubrics:They make your grading objective by explicitly stating standards and grading norms to be followed
They help students make clear expectations of what a higher performance on particular performance tasks requires.
They ‘encourage reflective practice on the part of both students and teachers’ (Allen and Tanner)
Holistic rubrics save you time by “by minimizing the number of decisions raters make” (Depaul)
Analytic rubrics help you “provide useful feedback on areas of strength and weakness” (Depaul)

The sources list at the bottom of this post contains some useful links and resources to help you learn more about rubrics, how to use them, sample rubrics and many more.There are several tools you can use to create rubrics. Below is a collection of some of the best of them:1- Quick RubricThis is a simple and easy tool to help you make different rubric types. You can build your rubric from scratch and when you are done you can save, print and share with others. Quick Rubric provides you with some handy resources to help you learn more about the pedagogic strength of rubrics.
2- Essay TaggerEssay Tagger allows you to easily create Common Core-aligned rubrics. You can select the elements you want to include in your custom rubric. All along the way, Essay Tagger provides you with clear instructions on how to proceed in each stage in your rubric creation.
3- Rubric MakerRubric Maker is another simple and easy to use tool to create rubrics. It does not require registration and is totally web based. You can create and customize your rubric the way you want and when you are finished you can print and share it with others. It does not offer any option to save your finished product other than printing.
4- RubiStarThis is one of the most popular rubric makers out there. It provides pre-made rubric templates based on different topics (e.g., math, writing, science, music, reading). The tool is free and can be used without registration, however, only registered members are allowed to save and edit their rubrics.
5- Teacher RubricTeacher rubric is a Google Docs add-on that lets you create quick rubrics. It “increases the teacher’s grading productivity by eliminating repetitive clicks, presenting the rubric selections in an easy to use format and presenting the final grades in a consistent, professional format.”
Sources:1- from this page

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