Rubrics as Assessment Tools

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One important aspect of education is assessment. Knowing how to properly assess students makes a great teacher. When it comes to rubrics, I was not always so believing. It was first presented in my credential program. It seemed overwhelming to create rubrics for learning but if  my years of teaching have taught me anything is that challenging myself, just like challenging my students, has its benefits. It has been long since I first came across a rubric to be used in class and was introduced to how to create one for my students. Since then, I have come to understand that they are essential components in students’ learning journeys.  

Assessing knowledge with a grading rubric elevate the learning in several ways:

  • It allows students to see exactly how they are going to be graded
  • It eliminates or diminishes subjectivity when grading
  • It provides a guiding path for before, during and after the assignment/assessment
  • It provides a visual of how well students have learned the material
  • It helps to address questions about the assignment or assessment

In closing, grading rubrics are perhaps one of the best ways to assess learning. Compared to the old ‘multiple choice test’ grading rubrics tap into actual learning, provided that the criteria is clearly stated and delineates the learning process accordingly. In the 21st century classroom, blended or fully online learning environment, grading rubrics continue to play an important role for the same reasons above and also because students are not always physically close to their instructors so reading a grading rubric in detail helps answer some of those questions. Furthermore, 21st century learning calls for more authentic opportunities in the classroom and grading this way allows students and instructors alike to see how much learning is happening in their classroom.


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