This is sort of a strange “The Best…” list.
I really haven’t voluntarily used rubrics (except in one classroom situation where I find them incredibly valuable, and which I’ll talk about in a minute). I generally just don’t like them, but I can’t really articulate why. And, though I’ve read a fair number of pieces out there critiquing them, I can’t say I’ve found any arguments that really resonate with me (of course, I also have to use the International Baccalaureate’s Theory of Knowledge rubrics for assessing that class’ final essay and oral presentation).
I’d love to hear people’s comments about them — both pro and con.
As I mentioned, there is one case where I do use them, and I’ve written extensively about it at My Revised Final Exams (And An Important Lesson). In this case, I use an “Improvement Rubric” where students can compare their writing at the beginning of the year with what they can do at the end of the year, and measure their improvement in several specific areas. Based on that self-assessment, they then determine in what areas they would like their next year’s teacher to help them on. That is one powerful lesson.
Other than in that case, this is the kind of feedback/assessment process I’ve usually done and that has worked well:
1) Review a short, simple criteria for a successful project in writing and in pictures & then have students put it in their own words and in pictures.
2) Show lots of good models.
3) Give students lots of individual feedback, as well as using the inductive learning process of concept attainment to help the entire class.
4) Identify students who are doing specific things well, and pair them up with others who are having challenges in those areas so they can help them.
That’s the process I use for extended student projects. I used a shortened version for less involved ones.
You might reasonably be wondering why I am posting this “The Best…” list if I’m not a fan of the usual kinds of rubrics teachers use.
A reasonable question, and I have two responses.
One, some of the publisher’s reviewers of my upcoming book, Student Self-Motivation, Responsibility, and Engagement:Practical Answers to Classroom Challenges, said they’d like to see rubrics for the lesson plans there. I’m doing all I can to wiggle out of creating many of them, but I did thought it would be useful to be able to refer readers to easy online rubric-makers for those who might want them.
And, two, I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to stretch my thinking a bit on the topic by inviting readers of this blog to share their own thoughts.
So, with those introductory thoughts out of the way, here is a very short list of my choices for The Best Rubric Sites:
Rubric Builder (go to the sidebar to find the link)
Of course, Kathy Shrock’s Assessment Rubrics is the “Mother” of all rubric resources. If it’s not on that page, it’s probably not that useful (a few of the links there, though, might be a little outdated).
R Campus has an impressive Rubric Gallery with thousands of free rubrics available.
Reframing The Rubric is a very thoughtful article worth reading.
Feedback is welcome — both on additional resources and your own thoughts on the use of rubrics.
How To Use A Rubric Without Stifling Creativity is by Grant Wiggins.
You might also be particularly interested in The Best Resources For Learning About Formative Assessment.