Introduction to Rubrics, Chapter Seven: Variations on a Theme and overall reflections of this book
In this chapter, the authors give examples and suggestions for using rubrics in specific disciplines and assignments such as in laboratory classes or for large research projects, book reviews, discussions, or portfolios. They give some excellent examples and suggestions on how and why to use rubrics for these purposes. The part I found most useful was the idea of using a staged rubric for research papers. The rubric includes the stages of the project as the dimensions (such as summaries, outline, draft, etc). Then the rubric can be used as the students progress through the different stages of the project, saving time for the instructor and also allowing the student to have all the feedback on the project in one place to review and build on. This staged rubric is something I may try in English 1109 where I have students work on an extensive project throughout the semester.
This book was extremely useful in helping me develop a rubric, especially in understanding how to tie the rubric to course and college outcomes or learning objectives. I also liked the ideas of how and why to involve students in the process of rubric construction and plan to try that when I return to the classroom. I would still like more information about the theories of assigning points in a rubric—this book didn’t discuss that controversy much. From what I can see, the authors of this book use rubrics as a grading tool as well as a way to save time and give useful and specific feedback in a variety of ways. I am thankful for their work and the examples and sample they have provided. I think many of my colleagues could benefit from this information as well.