Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Developing Detailed Rubrics

I imagine that most legal writing professors use some kind of rubric when grading students' papers. This study claims that the "consistent use of well-developed rubrics can enhance outcomes for English learners enrolled in writing courses." The article also recommends involving students in the development of the rubric.

I've never had students be part of a rubric's development, but I do give them a "final paper checklist," which I then turn into the rubric for the final paper. I see no benefit in leaving students wondering how they will be graded.

I like that this study looked not only at improved (or not) scores on writing assignments, but also at students' attitudes toward the rubric itself. Considering that the students had a hand in developing the rubric, there shouldn't be many surprises or much dissatisfaction, and that's just what the researchers found.

Developing Detailed Rubrics for Assessing Critique Writing: Impact on EFL University Students’ Performance and Attitudes
TESOL Journal 2.1, March 2011

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