He cites research supporting the idea that targeted rubrics result in student writing with less, not more, depth of thought.These pieces of writing might measure well on a rubric, but result in students who do not have confidence in their own ability to decipher the rules of writing without using a rubric as a guideline for creation.In his words, “both have more explicit formal expectations,” letting him avoid making a judgment call about the art itself.
Rubrics are not simply a checklist for grading student writing.
Many teachers use them as both a grading tool and a teaching tool.
As an alternative, Gonzalez suggests a three-column format that gives teachers the opportunity to pinpoint feedback to individual students.
This unique holistic rubric allows teachers to provide detailed feedback while also judging a piece of writing with a criteria-driven framework.
Rubrics, say critics, result in standardized measurement of standardized writing, which is hardly the purpose of writing instruction.
Alfie Kohn concedes that rubrics might be helpful as one of a wide variety of sources a teacher could consult as they design instruction, but that rubrics should never drive instruction — nor should they be shared with students as a design element of their writing.
Whether it’s a group of retirees who cluster in the back of your corner coffee shop or the so-called Ponzi schemes of MFA programs like the famed Iowa Writers’ Workshop, assessment comes in the form of peer feedback—marginalia and discussion.
But if you’re teaching creative writing in a K–12 classroom or a community college, at the end of the day you’re most likely required to stamp a letter grade—or at least a percentage score—on your students’ work.
As the educators I spoke with lamented, “the product is so hard to assess.” That’s why I’ve gathered three brilliant ways for you to get out of it.
Kevin Allardice is an English teacher at Mercy High School in Burlingame, CA and the author of the novels .