Another task of this week is to create a rubric using http://rubistar.4teachers.org/. You can also use other websites such as: http://myt4l.com/index.php?v=pl&page_ac=view&type=tools&tool=rubricmaker & http://www.rcampus.com/rubricshellc.cfm?mode=gallery&sms=build. They are very wonderful tools which save teachers’ time and effort. Creating rubrics by these tools doesn’t take more than 15 minutes. Even if you decide to create it yourselves without electronic tools, it is very easy with the instructions involved in the article “Rubric Tutorial” that provided by Deborah: http://health.usf.edu/publichealth/eta/Rubric_Tutorial/default.htm. Through reading this article, you will find many valuable hints about rubrics’ definition, reasons behind using them and how to create your own rubric. You can also find many examples for every step of creating it. You can view my rubrics either using a rubric maker or doing it myself on our wiki page: http://sites.google.com/site/webskillssu2010/participant-files. By downloading all my colleagues’ rubrics, I have now a bank where I can select what is suitable for areas I want to asses in my students performance.
Although it seems easy to create a rubric, teachers should take their time to think how to make it simple, easy to understand and effective. Suttor in his article “Teaching tips: Creating and using rubrics”: http://www.helium.com/items/1158203-creating-and-using-rubrics pointed out that effective rubrics can be real time savers for teacher, but an ineffective rubric can bog teachers down and actually make grading an assignment more difficult. Then he suggested a few key points for teachers to create and use effective rubrics:
1. Don’t invent the wheel. There are thousands of different rubrics in various books as well as online. Start by looking for a rubric that is most similar to what you want to use. If it appears that it will work as is, use it. If not, simply adapt this rubric to meet your requirements.
2. Don’t make it too overwhelming or complex. One mistake that teachers make is to include everything possible on the rubric. The result is a clumsy rubric that is a burden on the teacher causing increased grading time. These extensive rubrics are also overwhelming and discouraging to students. They appear to be too much nit-picking and will not win any favor with the students. Keep the rubric to around 5 categories at most.
3. Checks and circles. One of the fastest rubrics is one that simply uses check marks. The teacher then can give a grade based on the number of check marks. Another easy method is simply circling the successful qualities or numbers. These will save teachers time. It is much faster to make a check mark or to circle than to write down individual scores.
4. Use a highlighter. Using a highlighter to mark a rubric can be a quick grading method. Then after highlighting the successful areas and comments, go back with a pen or pencil to score it. This can make rubric use more effective.
5. Let students in on the secret. One of the worst decisions is to not show the students the rubric in advance. In all fairness they should see exactly what the teacher is grading on from the beginning. The result is usually increased quality of the assignment as well as less complaints from students and parents.
6. Keep the components positive. Make the areas of evaluation more about what the students do right than what they do wrong. Make it a way to earn points rather than taking points away. This helps the grading to appear positive to the students rather than more criticism.
Now you can agree with me that creating rubrics needs more time and effort to make it effective and valuable tool for your students.