How to Use and Grade Rubrics
The Purpose of RubricsRubrics are designed to do the following:
- To serve as guidelines for what is expected in a final product, including points on which a grade can be based
- To provide students with a structural picture of an excellent paper
- To provide an organized approach to revision, which is the key to a student writer's growth
The Use of Rubrics
- Assigning Rubrics
- Hand out rubrics after the initial rough drafts are completed since rubrics can signal errors in structure, which necessitate deep reversionary strategies – as well as in mechanics, which could simply be a stage in the final proofreading.
- Completing All Sections of Rubrics
- Instruct students to complete every aspect of the rubric, leaving no part incomplete. For example, if the rubric calls for five figurative language devices, the point is not for the student to include the two his or her paper currently contains and think that satisfies the requirement, but to revise the paper accordingly to include the three extra devices.
- Rubrics can be spot-checked for effort and given a nominal grade. If a class has worked on certain skills (e.g., run-ons and fragments), only the section of the rubric dealing with those lessons may be graded.
- Grading Rubrics Separately
- Rubrics can be handed in and graded before the final draft of the paper, serving as a sort of outline of the necessary components, and checked by the teacher in much the same way as the rough drafts are often reviewed.
- Grading Rubrics as Integral Parts of Papers
- One effective method is to grade rubrics on how successful each aspect was in terms of producing a better product. For instance, if no errors in organization occurred in the final draft of the paper itself, no points would be deducted from the rubric for that section. If, however, mechanical errors such as run-ons and fragments detracted from the value of the paper, a designated number of points could be subtracted indicating to the writer that more time needs to be spent proofreading for these sorts of errors and mechanics.
- Rubrics can be used as oral-conference grades the student and the teacher together focusing on problem areas, strengths, etc.