Teaching – if you define it as the time actually spent in the classroom with your students, usually comprises a much smaller part of a teacher’s day than any non-teacher might guess. There are a number of other tasks that eat up time in the day, but grading student work can prove particularly time consuming, especially if your student’s work isn’t in the form of fill in the blanks or multiple choice questions. Enter: Rubrics.
Rubrics can do wonders for teachers in need of grading mountains of student work, even when those mountains are virtual ones in your Dropbox. A rubric can help you recognize just what you’re looking for as you read student’s essays, homework, lab reports, and more. Part of the rubric’s beauty lies in its flexibility: regardless of the type of assessment you’re conducting, you can create a personalized rubric to get the job done. By using a rubric, you’ll benefit from efficiency in your grading as well as a level playing field in fairness – when you’re looking at the specific requirements for the work, you’re more likely to grade based on those qualifications rather than trying to compare one piece of student work to another on a spectrum.
Rubrics also offer benefit to students as well. Offer the rubric to the students along with their assignment. They’ll know exactly what you’re looking for as they complete their assignment, better preparing them for success. When you return their work to them, they’ll be able to clearly see what needs improvement. Clarity is key: the clearer you are when making the rubric, the easier it will be for both you and the students to use.
Since rubrics can be so helpful, we’ve put together a short list of some of our favorite online rubric resources. Some offer you the ability to build a new rubric from scratch, enabling you to put exactly what you need into it. Others offer templates that you can alter to suit your needs, others still offer pre-made rubrics that aren’t customizable, but still good if you’re not sure where to start or are in a pinch. Do you have any favorite resources for making rubrics that we haven’t included below? We’d love to check out your favorites, too. Share them with us by leaving a message in the comments below, dropping by the Daily Genius Facebook Page and sharing on our page, or visiting us on Twitter!
Free Online Rubric Makers
Annenberg Learner offers a great guide to rubrics for teachers that includes a simple to use, 7-step rubric builder. The resulting rubrics are basic and only customizable to a certain point (specifically, you can only select from criteria choices that they offer, you can’t write in your own), but they’re super simple to make, and easy to use, print, save, and share. This makes for an excellent first stop on your journey with rubrics, since it offers a lot of input to the user.
iRubric is one of the more robust rubric resources we’ve come across. You can build your own rubrics, modify existing rubrics, duplicate and re-purpose your existing rubrics, collaborate with your peers, and more.
We think the advantage to iRubric is the vast number of ways you can personalize your rubrics. Regardless of what subject you’re assessing, you won’t find yourself stuck with criteria that don’t apply. There are also a large number of rubrics other users have made that are available to peruse. You can choose to repurpose the existing rubrics for your use, or simply use them as inspiration as you create your own from scratch.
RubiStar is another great online rubric building tool. Rather than creating rubrics completely from scratch, RubiStar offers basic templates in many different subject areas that can either be used as is or customized based on your needs. By signing up for an account, you can log in and access your rubrics from anywhere. Similar to iRubric, you can also search and browse through existing rubrics. A nice feature is the ability to search by the rubric creator, so if your colleague/friend/Twitter acquaintance tells you they’ve made a rubric, you can find it via this search more easily.
Thumbnail via Woodley Wonder Works on Flickr cc