Writing a rubric for the first time can be difficult. However, once you have successfully completed one or two, it becomes increasingly easy and begins to require less and less time. There are, however, a few tips for writing good rubrics:
- Review your outcomes and make certain that what you are asking your students to do in the assessment is congruent with your outcomes.
- Brainstorm a variety of ways students will be able to demonstrate their mastery of the outcome. Don’t get stuck on requiring the traditional paper or exam for demonstration. Take into consideration the opportunities the ever-growing field of technology brings to student assessment.
- After deciding on the “context” of the demonstration, list the criteria for what you think counts for quality work.
- Break the criteria into distinct categories.
- Describe what constitutes a “quality” effort in each category.
- Then describe what constitutes an “OK” effort in each category.
- Third, describe what constitutes a “below average” effort in each category.
- And finally, describe what constitutes a “failing effort” in each category.
- Check to be sure that the language you have used is clear and concise and will not be misinterpreted or misunderstood.
- Avoid unnecessary negative language. We all respond better to being told what is working and how we can improve than we do to what is wrong.
- Always give the rubric to the student prior to the assessment.
Creating the rubric is the hard part, using them is the fun part. Once they are created they can be used over and over again, reducing the time involved in evaluation and assessment.