With the release of the new version of our Grade Rubric app, we thought it would be a good idea to talk about why rubrics a such good idea. Here are seven reasons to grade using rubrics..
- It Keeps You Consistent
It’s very easy to let irrelevant factors influence your grading over a long grading session, or if you’re just having a bad day. Breaking an assignment down into categories in a rubric helps keep you consistent and fair.
- Better Feedback for Students
I remember receiving grades from professors with comments in the margins, but then having no idea which comment factored heavily into my overall grade. A rubric makes it very clear to the student what they need to work on.
- Distance Margin Comments from the Grade
It’s not uncommon for students to think that they received a poor grade because the professor disagreed with them. I teach philosophy. It’s very argumentative discipline, and I like to engage my students in the margin comments. However, I don’t want them to think that they are being downgraded because I’ve written an argument against their position in the comments. With a rubric system, I can let my students know that any comments that engage their position are irrelevant to the grade, and since I given them a graded rubric – they can see that they were not downgraded for disagreement.
- Receive Better Work
If your students know what you’re looking for (from a rubric that you give them), then they’ll have more to think about when they work on an assignment. And you are likely to get better work from them.
- Eliminates Apparent Subjectivity
A lot of students think that writing papers is a very subjective thing, especially in my field (philosophy). But take a look at the rubric I use for my short philosophy paper assignment. I ask them to present an argument, present it in numbered-premise form, define technical terms, present reasons for each premise, present a possible objection, and present a response. Notice that all of these are things that you can objectively fail to do.
- Makes the Post-Grade Conversations Easier
You will always have students come to complain about grades, but when I started using rubrics – I noticed two things. First, I had fewer of those complaints. The reason for this is that students most likely get better feedback from a rubric. They know exactly why you took off the points you did. The second thing I noticed is that when students do come to talk about their grade, you have more information to go on. You can look at the rubric and you quickly get a snap shot of what they need to work on, and you’ll be in a much better position to defend your decision and advise your students so that they can do better on future assignments.
- It’s Quick!
You’ll like save tons of time. Especially if you use Grade Rubric app that calculates the grade for you (take the hint).
If you grade using rubrics, or would like to give it a try – you should download our free Grade Rubric app. Our app makes rubric grading, even better. You can create and store Rubrics for all of your assignments or assessments, and use them over and over again. The app will automatically crunch the numbers (or letters) for you and calculate the final grade. The app will also auto-generate and email a grade report to your students.