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A rubric is an assessment tool used by teachers to grade their students' work. Rather than giving a single numerical score for the entire assignment, rubrics evaluate the work based on the sum of the scores in a range of criteria. This gives the students the opportunity to evaluate their own work and reflect on what they could have done better, it also fosters the communication between teachers and students.
The problem with the traditional way of grading tests and assignments is that the method the teacher uses is unknown to the student. There will be instances where the student believes that he has done exemplary work but when the grades come in he finds it unsatisfactory. By not knowing what he did wrong the student will have no idea on how to improve himself in order to get a higher grade. This is not a problem when using rubrics. With rubrics the student has an idea on how to make his work worthy of high marks, and not blindly working in the hopes that what he did will be enough for the teacher.
Rubrics use a set of different aspects on what makes a student's work worthy of high grades, the sum of these criteria is the students' final grade for their work. Teachers tell the students beforehand about the rubrics that they will be using to grade their work. The teacher and students will then discuss what criteria gets included and/or excluded from the rubrics; this will give the students a better idea on what kind of work they need to do for high grades. By giving the students a say on how their work gets graded will also empower them, making them focus more on their studies and schoolwork.
Using rubrics for grading students work has a number of advantages, both for the student and for the teacher as well. For students, the rubrics grading system will show them what areas they need to work on because of the different criteria used to come up with the final grade. Rubrics also make them better judges of their own work.
Teachers also benefit a lot by using rubrics; for one thing their scoring work load is much lighter when using rubrics. This form also informs teachers if the method of teaching they are using is effective or not, and gives them feedback on what aspects of their teaching they need to improve on.
Experts believe that using rubrics will also help students and their teachers improve their quality of work. Teachers now have an implicit idea on what makes a good project or assignment so grading the work is a lot easier. And since students also have a copy of the rubrics they now know what they need to do to get a higher grade and prepare their work according to the criteria for scoring. Using the rubrics, student are trained on how to do things right the first time.
Rubrics helps in developing the character of the students, by giving them a list of expectations that they need to fulfill, they know how to do things correctly. And if they somehow get to fulfill the criteria in the rubrics before passing their work, they already have an idea on just how high a score they will get, giving them a good sense of accomplishment on a job well done.
By giving the students a clear idea on what area of their studies need improvement, they can allocate more of their concentration on that aspect of themselves, making them more efficient in their schoolwork and develop in them good work ethics.