Rubrics to the Rescue

Involving Students in Creating Rubrics

As educators, teachers have the responsibility to create assessments that encourage students to work towards a higher level of achievement. Rubrics are motivational tools for students, especially when students are involved in process. Students who are involved in the process of creating a rubric have a better understanding of the standards, gradations, and expectations of the assignment. Students also feel as if they have a "voice" within the classroom.

Here are some ways to get your class involved in the rubric creation:
In the beginning, introduce your students to a rubric by sharing a rubric and reviewing it step-by-step to ensure that they understand the standards, gradations, and expectations. After sharing a rubric, ask your students for their comments. Be sure to keep all relevant rubrics visible at all times (either on a bulletin board or a handout for each student). As students become more familiar with the purpose and layout of a rubric, ask them to assist you in designing a rubric for the next class assignment.

Why Involve Students?
By involving students in the creation of the rubric, students feel more empowered and their learning becomes more focused and self-directed.

  • Intrinsic motivation occurs when students design their own assessment tools.
  • If students help to create a rubric, it is much easier to hold them to its standards.
  • When students invest a decent amount of time and commitment into a project, they naturally want to participate in creating the assessment for that project.
  • The development of a rubric is a reflective process. It extends beyond just turning in a project.
  • Students involved in creating a rubric have a more concrete understanding of what is expected, and how to reach certain benchmarks.

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