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Sharing Rubrics with Students Prior to Grading their WorkI have always been one to...

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copelmat | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted April 22, 2010 at 10:23 AM via web

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Sharing Rubrics with Students Prior to Grading their Work

I have always been one to share my grading rubrics with students prior to the assignment being due. In my mind, the rubric helps to articulate expectations and parameters for each assignments and allows students to focus their work where it matters most.

There seems to be a growing trend in my neck of the woods that teachers are withholding their scoring rubrics from students until they are returning the graded work. It is only then that students are seeing the assignment's criteria explained.

To be honest, I'm having a difficult time understanding the reasons and rationales for this practice. Thoughts anyone?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 22, 2010 at 10:29 AM (Answer #2)

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Keep doing it your way.  I don't want to overdramatize, but I think that keeping the rubric from students is borderline morally wrong.  I think that students deserve to know exactly what they have to do in order to succeed.  You don't send a team out to play a game without telling them the object of the game and the rules, right?

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copelmat | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted April 22, 2010 at 10:36 AM (Answer #3)

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Keep doing it your way.  I don't want to overdramatize, but I think that keeping the rubric from students is borderline morally wrong.  I think that students deserve to know exactly what they have to do in order to succeed.  You don't send a team out to play a game without telling them the object of the game and the rules, right?

I agree completely. It seems to be a precursor to the kind of "gotcha" grading that I despise. But I cannot root out the problem within my own department until I better understanding of the motivations behind it. I'm just trying to get a feel for the rationale for such a practice.

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besure77 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted April 22, 2010 at 10:49 AM (Answer #2)

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I agree with you. I think that it is important that students know exactly what is expected of them before completing an assignment. Not explaining this first does not make any sense to me. Rubrics include so many things so how are they supposed to know what to do? I don't get it either!

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted April 22, 2010 at 11:37 AM (Answer #2)

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I don’t pretend to understand what the logic my be unless the "teacher" is afraid that:1)students will not work to the best of their ability because they only have to rise to the level of the rubric; 2)the "teacher" is afraid that there are inherent flaws (loopholes) in the rubric; 3)Could there be any other possibilities.

By the way, for the first time this week, I have let my classes devise their own scoring guides. Yeah for me, but I wish I’d had the guts to try at the beginning of the yearJ

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 22, 2010 at 11:38 AM (Answer #3)

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Ditto.  How will students learn if everything is kept a huge secret and they are always tense and uncomfortable?  I never understood that philosophy.  I take it a step further and have the students help me write the rubric sometimes.  How else to raise them to the higher level thinking we aspire to than to have them decide how they should be evaluated and what the important factors of each assignment are?

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 22, 2010 at 12:57 PM (Answer #3)

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I know a fair number of teachers do this, as well as things like, "Your test will be over Chapter 4" as opposed to any specifics of what they want them to study or learn.  I can't think of any educational rationale for doing this.  It makes it harder for the student, and assumes that when you hand back the test with comments on what they've done wrong, they will 1) read the comments and 2) take them to heart.  Why not fix the issue ahead of time and be up front with them?  So I'm with you on this one.

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lrwilliams | College Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted April 22, 2010 at 4:33 PM (Answer #4)

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Our expectations of students and their work should not be secret. We want them to know what is expected of an "A" paper before they begin working on it and they can strive to achieve that grade.

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booksnmore | College Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted April 22, 2010 at 5:34 PM (Answer #5)

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I prefer to give students a rubric prior to the completion of an assignment. After all, in the "real world" of work, we know what expectations are for the tasks we're given. Why should school assignments be any different? It's really like giving them information on who the "audience" is. I fail to see what benefit it is to withhold the information.

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cetaylorplfd | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted April 23, 2010 at 2:55 PM (Answer #6)

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I agree with all of you about rubrics.  I always give my students the rubric before an assignment because I will draft the rubric at the same time as I draft the directions for the assignment.  However, I have heard a few co-workers say that on occasion they don't make the rubric until they take in an assignment so that they can see what elements of the assignment need to be most assessed.  I don't think this is rational, fair, or beneficial but it's what I've heard "on the grapevine."

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missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 24, 2010 at 9:09 AM (Answer #7)

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In the reality of teaching when you have a life outside of school, some rubrics are made later. I'm not saying that's good practice, it's just reality sometimes.

Some students find the loopholes in a rubric and don't completely do work becuase they realize what's not being graded.

But, I think the most important part of your question and what we therefore need consider as a group of professionals is the lack of concern to help students succeed. I agree with you that there are teachers who withhold information from students on purpose like they are supposed to guess what the target is. I wonder at that and grow my own concern about what it will take to make all of us accountable to each other to do what is right by students at all times. I guess reality is that in any profession as big as ours, there will be bad apples... research indicates about 34%.

I hate that this happens, but when I find myself in those situations where I as a teacher know the right thing to do and know other teachers don't want to do it, I just make sure I do it in my room. Even if it only affects my 180 students, maybe they will get something from it.

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scarletpimpernel | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 24, 2010 at 9:10 AM (Answer #8)

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I've observed that teachers' not giving rubrics to students before assigning a project is normally a sign of poor preparation.  When I've talked to a colleague about this issue, he said that it would be "nice" to give the students the rubric first, but that he hadn't had time to make one up yet.

I always give my students rubrics before projects, presentations, and writing assignments.  I discuss the assignment's description first, and then we go over the rubric together, partly because I focus each assignment on a difference writing or analytical skill, and I want my students to focus on developing/honing those particular skills for the assignment.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 24, 2010 at 9:36 AM (Answer #9)

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In this new-age of freelance parenting, it seems that students are in need of more and more structure in school.  Rubrics provide this structure.  Still within the rubrics, teachers can refrain from committing themselves absolutely upon how much each part of an assignment will count, especially if their assignment has never been given before as teachers may discover that their expectations have been unrealistic for one part for their particular group.  Sometimes, for example, telling students that if they demonstrate strength in other parts of the assignment, teachers will reconsider the proportion of points given to other parts.  (Saying this has usually brought sighs of relief as it removes pressure from those who do not feel confidence on certain aspects of the assignment.)

As post #3 proposes, give the students the choice in areas of evaluation.  They feel empowered and are often better at being equitable than the teacher

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mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 24, 2010 at 6:44 PM (Answer #10)

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Rubrics come before, scoring lists come after.  Or something like that.  A rubric provides the language, and the scoring list provides the points.

The numbers are easy; it's the language that's hard.  What's the difference between a 6 and a 5 and a 4?  It takes so long to delineate all the language on a large-grid rubric.  There's 24 boxes, most of the time (4 x 6).  It takes longer to write the rubric that to design the assignment and grade the projects.  It helps to get collaboration.  But, again, that takes a lot of time.  You almost have to design the project a year in advance.

I don't know about you, I am in Harry Wong's "Survival" mode most of the time.  Foresight is a Master Teacher's window dressing.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 26, 2010 at 6:09 AM (Answer #11)

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Completely agree with the majority of contributors in this discussion. What we should be aiming for as teachers is transparent assessment - what that means is students should be able to work out what they need to do to gain a good mark, and should be able to review their work once it has been marked to see why they got the mark they got. This is a big advance, in my opinion, from the days when I was at school and it was basically a big guessing game - we had no idea why we got the mark we got, and I wonder whether the teachers were just going by "hunch" or "guess work" rather than marking to a specific rubric. One of the best activities I have done with students to prepare them for a specific exam is to get them to write essays and then to swap them and mark those essays with the rubric that will be used to mark their own essay - it familiarises them with how their work will be marked and empowers them as learners.

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engtchr5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted April 28, 2010 at 10:24 AM (Answer #12)

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I've been sitting here trying to think of a time when it would be inappropriate to provide a rubric to students, and the answer is, there is no such time. By allowing students to see what the expectations are before handing in an assignment, project, etc., we as educators are allowing them to adequately plan for success. I usually give rubrics to my students for writing assignments and spoken projects, but if anything, I could probably do it more for the smaller tasks in class as well. Having guideposts to measure our work by is never a bad thing.

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lfawley | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted April 28, 2010 at 5:33 PM (Answer #13)

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I definitely believe that students should be able to see the rubric in advance of turning in an assignment. That way, they know exactly what is being expected of them in the assignment. When you know what it is that you are being graded or judged on, it gives you a better ability to focus your work and your effort so that you can meet those expectations.

That said, the rubric does not need to give exact "points" per se - there is still a degree of subjective freedom on the part of the teacher, but the students will know at least WHAT is being scored and what the relative value if each area will be.

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ako6777 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted April 30, 2010 at 11:41 AM (Answer #15)

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I think sharing your rubric before the test is a great idea and should be done more often.  It allows the students to know what is expected of them and what to strive for.  It is allowed in colleges and universities why not allow it in high school. 

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 5, 2010 at 6:30 AM (Answer #16)

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Sharing rubrics is not an option. There is no way a student can set a goal, nor meet it, unless they know what is expected. I share mine with my third graders as well as with my Masters Levels students. They both appreciate it as much.

I remember back in the day when I was little and only the teacher knew what was on the rubric and I would only find out AFTER the grade was placed. As an ADHD student I would suffer a lot because a rubric could have helped me checklist myself and stay on track. Its a very sad situation not to share and still expect them to read one's mind as to what we want them to do .

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droark | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted May 23, 2010 at 10:38 AM (Answer #17)

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In the reality of teaching when you have a life outside of school, some rubrics are made later. I'm not saying that's good practice, it's just reality sometimes.

Some students find the loopholes in a rubric and don't completely do work becuase they realize what's not being graded.

But, I think the most important part of your question and what we therefore need consider as a group of professionals is the lack of concern to help students succeed. I agree with you that there are teachers who withhold information from students on purpose like they are supposed to guess what the target is. I wonder at that and grow my own concern about what it will take to make all of us accountable to each other to do what is right by students at all times. I guess reality is that in any profession as big as ours, there will be bad apples... research indicates about 34%.

I hate that this happens, but when I find myself in those situations where I as a teacher know the right thing to do and know other teachers don't want to do it, I just make sure I do it in my room. Even if it only affects my 180 students, maybe they will get something from it.

I agree that sometimes rubrics get made afterwards, but in my opinion those are the types of rubrics that come from assignments where expectations were made crystal clear in the beginning. For example, if the rubric lists points for completing each part of the assignment and then an addition section for spelling and crammer than students should know that going into every assignment. I find that this often happens with extension lessons and projects where a significant portion of the students performance is repeat practice of skills they have already received instruction on.

On the other hand, if the assignment is primarily practice of a new skill the value of showing students the rubric before they turn in the assignment grows. For example, if a 7th grader is writing their first full research paper they need to be given the opportunity to really look at what they are doing. I think we can all relate to the situation where we were sitting in a class we were taking or even in our own jobs where you had no idea where someone was trying to guide your understanding; I know I often find myself asking "what is the objective?" in these situations. We should teach our students to expect in their learning the same types of straightforward expectations that we expect in our professional adult lives.

That being said, really it doesn't specifically matter if you share the specific rubric with the students because the expecttations and objectives for every lesson should be made clear for every assignment for us to be truly "teaching" our students.

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usbummer | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted May 24, 2010 at 4:53 PM (Answer #18)

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I understand all of these responses but I just can't shake an uneasy feeling that giving out rubrics in advance can effectively dry-up a student's creativity by being told, essentially, what to do and how to do it. It also seems to me that it helps development in the mind of the student an expectation of being directed in all things. This will not benefit the student in the long run.

I recently assigned a poster with a college/university theme (AVID). A student asked me for a rubric and I said there will be no rubric. I wanted them to use their imagination (not mine). I told them in general what I was looking for but left the specifics up to them.

I would be most interested in hearing any comments along these lines. My mind is deffinitely NOT made up.

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zyvett | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 1, 2010 at 6:42 PM (Answer #19)

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I disagree with  Post #10. I don't think that creating a rubric has to be difficult or time-consuming. When you creat an assignment, hopefully you have clear goals in mind; rubrics simply put those goals on paper. In any standard lesson plan, you must list your objectives. Formulating a rubric helps the student understand those objectves, and hopefully, helps him/her attain those objectives.

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mzach | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted June 3, 2010 at 11:52 AM (Answer #20)

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Most of the assignments we use rubrics for involve subjective elements.  Meaning, rubrics are not needed for a simple math homework assignment (students either get the right answer or they don't), but is needed when students write a paper or create a project where the "right" answer isn't so easily identified.

I agree with all of those who said that teachers who are not ready to give students a rubric at the time an assignment is given may be guilty of poor planning.  I also recognize that with all that we have on our plates, reality may mean we don't give kids rubrics "on time."

What I have found is that even in my "reality" moments, it is worth it to stay up an extra hour to create the rubric, or to take an hour from spending time with my husband to stay late at school to make it.  The reason is that I usually will save myself an hour or two (or three) in the longrun, so I am actually saving time by doing so.  I save instructional time (remediation) and I save time in my grading process.

As a two time graduate student, I was constantly reminded of the frustration of not having a rubric/clearly defined expectations.

When elements of an assignment are subjective in terms of grading, it just can't be an option to withold a rubric.

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livetoteach | College Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted June 11, 2010 at 8:05 AM (Answer #21)

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I agree that rubrics are essential to clarifying expectations for students, that they are incredibly helpful to the planning and writing of assignments or essays.  I've found they can be especially helpful for students who tend to get "blocked" at the initial stages - while brainstorming and beginning a written assignment.  However, in my experiences with college-level teaching, rubrics are mostly used in writing classes, though not in literature classes.  And I wonder why that is the case.  What is it about the assigning and grading of essays about literature makes "us" (teachers of English) reluctant to compose and distribute rubrics?  An old-fashioned attachment to the "sacredness" of writing or a perhaps unacknowledged lingering assumption that "good writing" simply flows freely from the writer's head?  In my view, rubrics help to break down these assumptions, demystifying - at least in part - the writing process.

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kblinder | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 12, 2010 at 4:47 PM (Answer #22)

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Showing rubrics ahead of time not only takes the mystery out of grading, but it can also be a great teaching tool.  It is a remarkably effective way for a teacher to focus attention on whatever features of the assignment he or she feels are most critical.  Students often will ignore a simple checklist given before an assignment, but rarely will ignore a rubric.

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malksne | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 14, 2010 at 8:27 AM (Answer #23)

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Sharing Rubrics with Students Prior to Grading their Work

I have always been one to share my grading rubrics with students prior to the assignment being due. In my mind, the rubric helps to articulate expectations and parameters for each assignments and allows students to focus their work where it matters most.

There seems to be a growing trend in my neck of the woods that teachers are withholding their scoring rubrics from students until they are returning the graded work. It is only then that students are seeing the assignment's criteria explained.

To be honest, I'm having a difficult time understanding the reasons and rationales for this practice. Thoughts anyone?

I agree.  Teacher's who don't share the rubric in advance are asking the students to "play a game without knowing the rules."  We are there to "teach" them and a necessary component of that situation is that we accept that when they start, they don't know exactly what they are supposed to do.  An integral part of teaching them is saying "this is what I expect."  Only after showing them what our expectations are, is it fair to evaluate them on how well they met our expectations.

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ktmagalia | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted June 14, 2010 at 2:21 PM (Answer #24)

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In theory, rubrics should be introduced as the assignment or activity is introduced. And as the years progress, I must say that I have become quite the rubric master (thanks to knowing what I'm finally doing as well as rubric making sights that simplify my rubric creating life.) However, in reality, many teachers with large class sizes and multiple preps find themselves, as Scarlet Pimpernel shares, pressed for time and thus put off the rubric until the end.  Not the best use of the rubric, but one can at least remember that the following year the rubric will be ready at the start.  Nothing about teaching should be kept secret, including, being honest with students with a sincere comment such as, "Hey, I'm trying something new with our study of _____, and the rubric will be following shortly.  In the meantime, I want you to remember that I will be basically looking for _____ and making the overall score ____."  Really. When we are honest and flexible, students are honest and flexible.

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blue73mgb | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 17, 2010 at 5:56 AM (Answer #25)

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Now in all honesty, sometimes if a student asks how many points an assignment in class is worth, I might say something like, "Oh you know2,399,456,991," just so they know that the points for the assignment is not what I think their motivation should be, but they always know ahead of time what the criteria for the projects are.

That is so funny! I do that, too! In reality, an assignment can be worth 1000, 100, 10...I try to show them how it is really all the same. But with higher numbers, there is a bit more room for pinning down the assessment.

 

I can not imagine giving a 7th grader an assignment without a rubric. It is not fair to just throw out an assignment without expectations. Giving an assignment without expectations will give you a headache trying to grade the projects! If you have no guidelines - how can you grade anything??

there is always one student (or parent, for that matter) who will ask, "Why did you give me this grade?" If you are asked this qustion and you have a rubric, you can easily refer to it and you have solid backup for your grade. If not, things look unlcear and perhaps even judgemental.

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sensei918 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted June 17, 2010 at 11:06 AM (Answer #26)

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I believe that students need to have clear understanding of what is expected of them in order to be able to be successful in their classes. A good rubric is essential because if the students know what the teacher wants and how she/he wants it done, they have the choice to either follow it and be rewarded with success, or blow it off and find out what will happen in the real world if they cannot follow directions.

Moreover, it is not fair for a teacher to not set forth specific requirements and then penalize the student for not knowing the score in advance.

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asorrell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted June 22, 2010 at 9:43 AM (Answer #6)

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I give them the rubric ahead of time, go over it in detail, and post it on my website.  Giving the students the rubric ahead of time makes grading it so much easier because the students know exactly what I want.  If a student is unhappy with his or her grade, all he or she has to do is look at the rubric to see what area they didn't do well on.  This said, rubrics need to be very detailed.  I hate vague rubrics.  My students know that I love using detailed rubrics.  Sometimes they come to me with one they've gotten from another teacher and ask me to decipher it.  Some of these rubrics are awful and they confuse the kids more than if they didn't have one at all. 

I also use a lot of sample writing to show students what is an A paper.  Every year, I ask students if I can save some of their papers to use next year as samples for the upcoming students.  It helps students a lot to see examples of quality work.

I did an Action Research Project for my first Masters degree on how writing scores on standardized tests can be improved if students just understand the rubric and see sample essays before taking the test.

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patricia-mandala | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 22, 2010 at 11:37 AM (Answer #27)

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What is it that the student is to accomplish? What is MOST important about this  particular assignment? Especially with a writing assignment, everything is not necessarily as important as everythinig else! For instence, if i want my students to show me what they have learned about literary devices, my rubric would contain exactly what it is that they should have learned. I would NOT be grading them on any peripherals, such as conventions or how well they can "spin" about the subject.

I need to have a rubric for myself, as well. I have a tendency to lean too heavily to the "conventions" side of writing, and often that is not what I want from my students. If I have a rubric made for them, then I need to stick to it, also.

Front-loading the planning will help to make your year go more smoothly, also. I work over the summer creating rubrics, because it is much easier to work without the "haze of battle," so to speak.

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astjohn38 | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 22, 2010 at 5:52 PM (Answer #28)

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I share my rubrics with my students because this tells the students what I am looking for in the assignment.  This helps the students know what they need to do to get a good grade.  Teacher's not giving rubrics to student's is setting them up to fail.

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kvglynn | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 22, 2010 at 6:27 PM (Answer #29)

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Sharing Rubrics with Students Prior to Grading their Work

I have always been one to share my grading rubrics with students prior to the assignment being due. In my mind, the rubric helps to articulate expectations and parameters for each assignments and allows students to focus their work where it matters most.

There seems to be a growing trend in my neck of the woods that teachers are withholding their scoring rubrics from students until they are returning the graded work. It is only then that students are seeing the assignment's criteria explained.

To be honest, I'm having a difficult time understanding the reasons and rationales for this practice. Thoughts anyone?

I think some teachers choose to withold scoring rubrics because of the ways that many students use rubircs. Often times students will take the rubirc and do the bare minimum requirement to satisfy each of the guidelines. This takes away from the intent of the project and decreases the effectiveness of the assignment. By keeping the rubric hidden, it forces the student to put in the best effort possible.

Perhaps a compromise in this situation would be to explain the desired outcome of the assignment and the expectations, but not disclose the weight of each aspect and the details of what you are looking for specifically.

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 25, 2010 at 6:49 AM (Answer #5)

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For short assignments, I don't always share a rubric as the expectations are fairly forthright and understandable.  For a longer or more complicated work, I find it's actually in MY best interest, as well as theirs, to share the scoring rubric.

If the essay, research paper, or project has many "moving parts," everyone benefits from a kind of checklist to ensure it's all there.  From there it's easy to move to degree of completion or effectiveness.

Too, when the work is returned to the student, there can be little complaint or feedback about fairness or lack of understanding the expectations.  That, too, benefits us both. 

If you have it, give it and use it and enjoy it!

 

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sukatx | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 22, 2010 at 11:43 AM (Answer #30)

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Sharing Rubrics with Students Prior to Grading their Work

I have always been one to share my grading rubrics with students prior to the assignment being due. In my mind, the rubric helps to articulate expectations and parameters for each assignments and allows students to focus their work where it matters most.

There seems to be a growing trend in my neck of the woods that teachers are withholding their scoring rubrics from students until they are returning the graded work. It is only then that students are seeing the assignment's criteria explained.

To be honest, I'm having a difficult time understanding the reasons and rationales for this practice. Thoughts anyone?

  I agree with exposing the students to a grading rubric before an assignment is due.  After all, as an adult I often find myself making mistakes because I simply wasn't familiar with the end product.

We teach our students to begin with the end in mind.  How are they to be successful if they don't know what's expected of them at the end?

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MaudlinStreet | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted July 24, 2010 at 9:06 AM (Answer #7)

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I agree with the above posts, and offer the same suggestion in a different light: students are expected to be familiar with the AP rubrics before taking the test. Can you imagine a student sitting down to complete 3 critical essays in 2 hours, without knowing how they will be scored? It seems to me that any teacher withholding rubrics from their students is setting his/her class up for failure...or at least for a much more difficult and frustrating task than it needs to be.

I train my students to score their own & each other's essays in class. I believe that the more comfortable they are in using the rubrics, the more likely they are to go into the test knowing what they need to score highly.

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kristenfusaro | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted August 25, 2010 at 11:26 AM (Answer #8)

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The rubric is extremely important for students, and it is favorable for teachers as well. The rubric outlines the expectations, thus breaking that "What are we supposed to do?" mentality. Clear expectations express professionalism and organization to the student, and thus to the parents as well, also adding to the respect of the teacher.

If the mentality behind no rubric is "teach the student how to figure it out," that teacher is actually doing the student a great disservice. Colleges have used syllabi (which, more or less, are just scanty rubrics) for ages (and are moving to the more traditional rubric now), and even in business the boss explains the expectations. Think about it, if a student took a job at a leading fast food restaurant, the boss wouldn't throw them an apron and say "go"; how can we expect the student to produce or to learn without any guidance?

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ajmchugh | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted September 7, 2010 at 2:34 PM (Answer #9)

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I share rubrics ahead of time, too, but I think I can understand why some teachers don't. 

I recently had a discussion with some of my colleagues, and among other things, we discussed the growing problem of "teaching to the test."  Many students who enter our high school have been so conditioned to write a five-paragraph essay (because that's the easiest way to teach kids to pass the state test) that they're virtually unable to understand that there are other types of writing.  (Or, even, that every essay DOES NOT have to be five paragraphs!) 

Essentially, many of my colleagues concluded that the more specific teachers are with their requirements, the more kids come to expect--and rely on--such explicit directions. For example, many students who are given a writing assignment WITHOUT specific directions become panicked because they don't know how to organize their information.  The veteran teachers said they found that today's students are much less able to just take a writing assignment and make it work without specific directions. 

Again, I'm a fan of providing rubrics ahead of time--but I think I do understand some teachers' reluctance to do so.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 13, 2011 at 8:36 PM (Answer #10)

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I do not think an assessment is accurate unless the student knows what he or she is being assessed on. In my mind, my goal is to help my students to be successful.  This is why I create a rubric in the first place.  If I am careful in designing my rubric, careful in delivering my lessons, careful in reviewing the rubric with them and teaching them how to use it to assess their work, and careful in using the rubric to assign a grade, my students should do well.  My students usually do much better with a rubric, and the ones that don't are the ones who don't use it.  Since I WANT my students to do well, I will continue to give them the rubric.  If I didn’t, I guess I would withhold it.

 

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