Introduction to Rubrics: An Assessment Tool to Save Grading Time, Convey Effective Feedback, and Promote Student Learning

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Stylus Pub., 2005 - Education - 131 pages
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You need rubrics if:
* You find yourself repeating the same comments on most student papers
* You worry that you?re grading the latest papers differently from the first
* You?re concerned about communicating the complexity of a semester-long assignment
* You question the consistency of your and your colleagues? grading scales
* Grading is taking up far too much of your valuable time

Research shows that rubrics save professors time while conveying meaningful and timely feedback for students, and promoting self-regulated and independent learning. The reason rubrics are little used in higher education is that few faculty members have been exposed to their use.

At its most basic a rubric is a scoring tool that divides an assignment into its component parts and objectives, and provides a detailed description of what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable levels of performance for each part.

Rubrics can be used to grade any assignment or task: research papers, book reviews, participation in discussions, laboratory work, portfolios, oral presentations, group work, and more.

This book defines what rubrics are, and how to construct and use them. It provides a complete introduction for anyone starting out to integrate rubrics in their teaching.

The authors go on to describe a variety of processes to construct rubrics, including some which involve student participation.They demonstrate how interactive rubrics--a process involving assessors and the assessed in defining the criteria for an assignment or objective--can be effective, not only in involving students more actively in their learning, but in establishing consistent standards of assessment at the program, department and campus level.

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About the author (2005)

Dannelle D. Stevens is a tenured professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Portland State University in Oregon where she has been since 1994. Her roots, however, are in the public school classroom where she taught middle school and high school social studies, language arts, and special education for 14 years across four school districts and three states. She received her master's from the University of Utah in 1983, and a doctorate in educational psychology from Michigan State in 1991. Before coming to PSU she taught at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. Whether the topic is rubrics, journal writing, action research or academic writing, her work centers on how adults reflect on what they do and, then, act on those reflections. One of Dr. Stevens' underlying assumptions is that cognitive, social and emotional development does not end with the teenage years but continues through the lifetime. Besides over 75 conference presentations, she has written three books, all designed to impact development of her fellow faculty and, their students. Her first book, co-edited with Joanne Cooper, Tenure in the Sacred Grove: Issues and Strategies for Women and Minorities, (SUNY Press, 2002), was written to help faculty women and minorities negotiate the path to tenure. Introduction to Rubrics, now in its second edition, and co-authored with Antonia J. Levi, and Journal Keeping, co-authored with Joanne Cooper, are published by Stylus Publishing.In addition to teaching classes, she has taken on leadership positions in the department and campus-wide. In the Curriculum and Instruction Department, Dr. Stevens leads teacher licensure cohorts and coordinates the MA/MS program for experienced teachers. For the university at large, she works within the Center for Academic Excellence as faculty-in-residence for assessment. She is chair of the Institutional Assessment Council.

Antonia J. Levi is a professor of modern Japanese history who taught for many years in the University Studies Program at Portland State University. She is now retired, continuing to write about rubrics, Japanese animation, and the globalization of popular culture, and reinventing herself as a novelist in Vancouver, BC. She has served as an apprentice and mentor in Simon Fraser Universityrsquo;s Writerrsquo;s Studio and the Southbank Writerrsquo;s Program where she is exploring the possibilities for rubrics in enhancing work shopping experiences, evaluating and improving public performances, and developing other creative skills.

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