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Suggestions for Using Rubrics in Courses

1.

Hand out the grading rubric with the assignment so students will know your expectations and how they'll be graded. This should help students master your learning outcomes by guiding their work in appropriate directions.

2.

Use a rubric for grading student work and return the rubric with the grading on it. Faculty save time writing extensive comments; they just circle or highlight relevant segments of the rubric. Some faculty include room for additional comments on the rubric page, either within each section or at the end.

3.

Develop a rubric with your students for an assignment or group project. Students can then monitor themselves and their peers using agreed-upon criteria that they helped develop. Many faculty find that students will create higher standards for themselves than faculty would impose on them.

4.

Have students apply your rubric to some sample products before they create their own. Faculty report that students are quite accurate when doing this, and this process should help them evaluate their own products as they are being developed. The ability to evaluate, edit, and improve draft documents is an important skill.

5.

Have students exchange paper drafts and give peer feedback using the rubric, then give students a few days before the final drafts are turned in to you. You might also require that they turn in the draft and scored rubric with their final paper.

6.

Have students self-assess their products using the grading rubric and hand in the self-assessment with the product; then faculty and students can compare self- and faculty-generated evaluations.

Sometimes a generic rubric can be used, and it can be refined as raters become more experienced or as problems emerge.

Generic Rubric for Assessing Portfolios

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