Category Archives: Documents

Another rubric for creative assignments: short stories

I have used a holistic, comment-based rubric for my short story assignment in Creative Writing for several years. After reading all this information about rubric, I decided to revise it into a point-based, more analytic rubric. I also changed the point values because the short story ends up being one of the longest assignments in the class, so I changed it from 100 to 150 points (I plan to decrease the points in their literary critique since that is a shorter overall assignment). I hope this new rubric makes the expectations of the assignment clearer to students and make grading more objective and clear.


Here is my original rubric (with examples of comments and a grade):


Short story rubric 



Fiction technique Description Your story Comments
Character development Are the characters well developed through a variety of character techniques (such as dialogue, using gestures, observations, etc.)?


ok Good character but I wanted to know more about her—and see her more in action. So much of the story is summary that we only get general info on her.
Plot Is the plot interesting and original? Is the plot condensed enough to develop in the length of the story?


ok Good idea for plot—just need more scenes and less summary to make the story more effective.
Story beginning Does the story start with action or dialogue instead of summary?


Needs work It’s most effective to start with dialogue and/or action. You begin more with an introduction or summary.  I would suggest just starting with the first scene—let the background  of the characters come out through the plot.
Scenes Does the story contain scenes that let the characters act and move and not just a summary of events or time periods?


Needs work Good at the start but try to let the action and dialogue show things—try not to explain everything. Also you need more scenes—to really move the action along and help the readers get into the story and characters.
Grammar and style Does the story contain college-level writing and an interesting writing style? Are there too many grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors?


Needs work Avoid using second person (you) in fiction.  Also some comma splices, apostrophe errors, run-ons, and other errors are getting in the way of your ideas.
Dialogue Is the dialogue in the story natural and realistic? Does it help develop characters, action, and scenes?


ok Use a comma between speaker and dialogue. Just need more dialogue in scenes.
Setting and detail Are the setting and details in the story well developed and unique?


Good Great detail about the city but need more details in some places–scenes would help with that.
Overall comments Great start here–see comments above for ways to improve the story.    
Grade 84/100 B  





Here is the first draft of my new rubric:


Short Story Assignment 

            Write a short story (possibly using a character/characters you have developed in class assignments (week three discussion assignment). Think about all the elements of fiction which the fiction lessons and your textbook discuss.  Try to write a unique story in your own writing style.  Try not to fall back on common plots, stereotypical characters, etc.

Length:  6-25 pages (1200-6000 words)

Format: Double-spaced, in RTF format.

                Name the file as:  yourlastname_story  (for example: swing_story)

                Make sure to have title page with name, name of story, date, etc.

                Make sure to start a new paragraph when a new character speaks.

                Make sure to use correct capitalization, spelling, and grammar. See this website for grammar review if needed:




Fiction technique Excellent On the right Track Needs Development Comments


50 points

□   Plot is original and surprising (had tension), but not shocking. It engages audience throughout story.

□   The plot is condensed enough to develop in a short story (time is condensed)

□   Beginning of the story engages audience and begins with action or a scene and not summary or background.

□   Ending is satisfying even if it’s abrupt or doesn’t wrap up all ideas.

□   Story meets word requirements.

□   Plot is interesting but may contain some confusion, clichéd ideas, or vagueness.

□   The plot is fairy condensed but may span too much time or have too much history or summary.

□   Beginning of the story is interesting but may have too much summary and not enough action.

□   Ending is ok but could be more satisfying or original.

□   Story meets word requirements, but needs to be longer, ideas need to developed further.

□    Plot is not engaging, doesn’t contain tension, or is clichéd.

□   The plot tries to cover too much time or is confusing to follow.

□   Beginning of the story has too much summary and background—needs a scene and action.

□   Ending is clichéd, shocking, or unbelievable.

□   Story does not meet minimum word requirements.

Character development


20 points

□   Characters, especially main character, is developed well through multiple techniques (dialogue gestures, description, action, etc).

□   Characters are unique and not stereotypes or one dimensional

□   Character relationships are well developed and interesting.

□   Character makes some significant change in the story.

□   Characters, especially main character, is developed well but needs more showing and less telling. Need to have the character in action more.

□   Characters are interesting but may be a bit stereotypical or one dimensional at times.

□   Character relationships are interesting but may need more development.

□   Character makes some changes but they might not be enough or realistic based on the plot of the story.

□    Characters, especially main character, are not developed enough. Need action, dialogue, background, etc.  

□   Characters are stereotypical or one dimensional.

□   Character relationships are not developed or unrealistic.

□   Character does not make any significant or realistic changes throughout the story.



20 points

□   Multiples scenes are used in the story to show and not tell the story

□   Scenes are in a clear and logical sequence even if flashbacks are used

□   Scenes are interesting and effective

□   Story has some scenes that develop ideas, but may need more scenes and less summary.

□   Scenes are in a clear order but may need some reorganization.

□   Scenes are good but may need more action or tension

□    Story is mostly summary and needs scene to develop characters, tension, and ideas.

□   Scenes are not in a clear order and are confusing.

□   Scenes are unrealistic or uninteresting or unoriginal.



15 points

□   Dialogue is natural and not stilted or awkward

□   Dialogue is effectively used to develop characters, give character background, and develop tension.

□   Dialogue uses correct quotation mark placement and  is indented with each new speaker


□   Dialogue original but may be stilted or inconsistent at time (need to use contractions, for example)

□   Dialogue gives some character and plot details but could be used more to develop those traits.

□   Dialogue uses mostly correct format, but may need some corrections like a comma between speaker and quotation or correct indentation.


□   Dialogue is not used enough or is stilted and/or inconsistent (need to use contractions, for example or character’s voice changes)

□   Dialogue needs to be used to develop characters and details more effectively.

□   Dialogue does not follow correct format (indent with each speaker, comma between speaker and quote, correct quotation marks, etc.)


Grammar and style


20 points

□   The story is written using college-level writing skills in a professional manner.

□   The story does not contain many errors in spelling, sentences errors, pronoun use, apostrophes, or other errors.

□   Style of the story is consistent and engaging and not wordy or overly passive.

□    Story uses appropriate and consistent point of view.

□   The story is written at college level but may have some inconsistencies.

□   The story contains some errors in spelling, sentences errors, pronoun use, apostrophes, or other errors.

□   Style of the story is mostly consistent and engaging but may have some wordiness, vagueness, etc.

□   Story uses appropriate point of view but may shift once or twice.

□   The story is not written at college level.

□   The story contains many errors in spelling, sentences errors, pronoun use, apostrophes, or other errors.

□   Style of the story is inconsistent and engaging contains too much wordiness, vagueness, etc.

□   Story shifts point of view multiple times and for no logical reason.

Setting and detail


15 points

□    Setting in the story is clear, unique, and well developed.

□   Setting is an important part of the plot or tension in the story.

□    Details in the story such as colors, clothes, music, objects, are unique and used to develop characters and plot.


□   Setting in the story is clear but could developed further.

□   Setting could be used more as part of the plot or tension.

□   Some of the details in the story such as colors, clothes, music, objects, are unique but could be used more to develop characters and plot.

□   Setting is vague or unclear.

□    Setting has no relationship to the plot or characters.

□   Story needs more details like colors, clothes, music, cars, landscape, etc. to develop characters and plot.

Paper format


10 points



□   Story was submitted on time in the dropbox with correct file name.

□   Story follows paper format (double-spaced, one in margins).

□   Story has unique title and correct heading.

□   Story was submitted on time in the dropbox with correct file name.

□   Story follows paper format (double-spaced, one in margins) with one or two minor errors.

Story has a title and heading but may have some errors.

□   Story was not submitted on time in the dropbox and or has an incorrect file name.

□   Story does not follows paper format (double-spaced, one in margins).

□   Story has a not title and/or no heading.

Overall comments        
Points / Out of 150 points Grade:    






My Rubrics: College Composition I final exam

Finally, after all the research, I feel more confident in writing rubrics. I also feel more justified in the need and use of them. I am excited to try some student-generated rubrics, and I also want to use rubrics as a department. In that spirit, I have created a draft of a rubric to use for the College Composition I final exam. I plan to present this to the department to start some discussions about conistency and standards for the exit exam.


Here is the draft:


College Composition I Final Exam


To pass the course, students must receive a “D” or better on a departmentally-administered final examination of 500-700 words.  The final will be written using word processing skills during the assigned final exam period.  A standard dictionary may be used during the final exam. 


TASK DESCRIPTION: Write a clear, professional essay of 500-800 words on a topic given by the instructor. A mode of writing may also be given. 


DIMENSIONS Exceeds outcomes Meets outcomes Does not meet outcomes Comments and points

Content and purpose

40 points

□    Paper has a clear, original, and interesting thesis or focus that engages audience and has a clear purpose.□    Content of the paper demonstrates complex and creative ideas and thoughts.□    Thesis and ideas are supported with specific and interesting examples and details appropriate to audience.

□    If sources are used, they are used appropriately, introduced and given credit.


□    Paper has a thesis that focuses the paper and has a purpose and an audience.  □    Content of the paper demonstrates specific ideas and thoughts.□    Thesis and ideas are supported with examples and details.

□    If sources are used, they are introduced or given credit.


□    Paper does not have a clear thesis, purpose, or audience.   □    Content of the paper demonstrates only simple thoughts or ideas and may not meet word requirements.□    Thesis and ideas are not supported with examples and details.

□    If sources are used, they are not clearly introduced or cited.  




25 points


□    Paper is effectively organized, and paragraphs tie back to thesis.□    Paragraphs are clearly focused and linked together.□    Paper has an engaging and clear title, introduction, and conclusion.


□    Paper has a clear organization, but ideas might not always tie to thesis.□    Paragraphs are focused but may lack transitions.□    Paper has a title, introduction, and conclusion.


□    The paper’s organization is unclear or ineffective.□    Paragraphs are unfocused and lack transitions.□    Paper does not have a title, introduction, or conclusion.


Style and point of view 20 points □    Paper shows a unique style created through sentence and word choice.□    Style is consistent and appropriate to audience.□    Style is economical with no unneeded words or passive construction.

□    Point of view/pronoun use is clear and consistent.

□    Paper has an identifiable style.□    Style is mostly consistent and appropriate to audience.□    Style may have some vagueness or wordiness.

□    Point of view/pronoun use is mostly consistent and clear: may have some errors or shifting.

□    Paper has no clear style or tone.  □    Style is inconsistent or inappropriate to audience and purpose.□    Style is wordy, vague, and passive.

□    Point of view/pronoun use inconsistent and unclear.  


 Professionalism15 points □    Paper has correct heading and formatting (1 inch margins, 12 point font), and page numbers.□    Grammar and punctuation are used effectively to enhance ideas in the paper. Errors are minimal.□    Sentences are varied and fit with ideas in the paper.


□    Paper has mostly correct heading and formatting (1 inch margins, 12 point font), and page numbers—may have small errors.□    Grammar and punctuation are used purposefully, and errors in grammar and syntax are few and do not distract from paper’s meaning or style.□    Sentences are clear but may be unvaried. □    Paper does not have correct heading, formatting, or page numbers.  □    Grammar and punctuation errors get in the way of the ideas in the paper.□    Sentences are unvaried, vague, and confusing.  
Total Points: 100       Grade:



Overall Comments:

Complete Rubrics: Chapter Two

Quinlan, Audrey M. A Complete Guide to Rubrics: Assessment Made Easy for Teachers, K-College. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2006. Print.



Chapter Two: Checklists, Performance Lists, or Rubrics


 In this chapter Quinlan talks about how rubrics aren’t right for every assignment or for all parts of all assignments at least. She starts the chapter talking about the three kinds of learning objectives: “cognitive (information and knowledge), psychomotor (physical actions), or affective (attitudes)” (17).  She discusses Bloom’s taxonomy and its relation to cognitive objectives. She gives a nice chart on pages 18-19 that breaks down Bloom’s categories and gives instructional objectives and verbs for each category: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. I did a quick search and found another page from Clemson University that includes similar information:


Psychomotor learning objective include anything that students must physically complete, from handwriting to archery to lab experiments to building robots. Quinlan cites Heinich, Molenda, and Russell to describe “four levels of the psychomotor objectives: imitation, manipulation, precision, and articulation” (17). 


Affective learning objectives include attitudes and feelings about learning, which have to be evaluated by self -disclosure or through observation, so they are often “the most difficult to measure and evaluate” (17).


Quinlan next discusses using simple checklists to measure any of these kinds of learning objectives whether it’s completing a map or learning to spike a volleyball or even enjoying an activity (uses terms like “volunteers, joins in, cooperates, enjoys” (20). I can imagine using a checklist for group projects in my Comp I class or for the parts of the research paper in Comp II (instead of a multi-part rubric).


Here is an example of how I might use a checklist:


Checklist for College Composition II research paper


____ Brainstorming idea with class group


____Summary One


____Summary Two


____Topic selected and approved


____Outline and planning completed


____ Initial research completed


____Draft of paper completed


____Peer review of group drafts completed


____Grading conference with instructor completed


____Revision of paper into final draft completed


____Evaluative paper completed




This kind of checklist would be useful for the student and the instructor, to keep the student on task and for the instructor to have one clear sheet with the student’s progress.


Next Quinlan talks about using an expanded checklist to do simple evaluation of parts of a tasks, using perhaps a check, minus, plus sign system to show students how well they completed the parts of the checklist. Again, I can see this being useful in a large individual or group project where not every part is graded individually.


The next type of tool discussed is a performance list, which uses a checklist format but assigns points to each task.


I could use a performance list for my group grammar presentations. One might look like this:


Group Grammar Presentations

100 points


Group Participation (25 points—5 points each)


___ Took a clear role in the group


___Completed a fair share of the work


___Got along with members (avoided or dealt with conflict)


___Communicated with members effectively


___Attended regular group meetings



Grammar Knowledge (50 points—10 points each)


____ summarized grammar concepts


____identified important terms accurately


____produced several original examples of each error


____corrected example errors accurately

____ answered any questions accurately and thoroughly


Presentation Skills (25 points—5 points each)


____ involved audience in presentation


___ Created an organized and visually appealing display


___Spoke clearly and loud enough


___Made eye contact with audience


___Displayed use of professionalism and standard English usage



Finally, Quinlan moves on to using rubrics. First, she explains the advantages to rubrics: they provide clear expectations, they let students know the benchmarks of the assignments, they let student see themselves in relation to clear objectives, they create more fairness and consistency in grading, and they “provide teachers with data to support grades” (26).


Quinlan talks about both 4 point or 6 point and holistic or analytic rubrics.   


 In a four point rubric, #4 would be “exemplary performance;” #3 would be “proficient…[s]olid performance or understanding;” #2 would be “partial understanding…emerging or developing; makes errors;” #1 would be “minimal understanding…has serious errors or misconceptions;” and 0 would be “[n]o attempt made” (27). In a 4 point rubric, a 3 is the “standard” (27).


In a 6 point rubric, the levels are: 6= “Exemplary achievement ;” 5= “Commendable achievement;” 4= “Adequate achievement;” 3= “Some evidence of achievement;” 2= “Limited evidence of achievement;” 1= “Minimal evidence of achievement;” and 0= “No response” (27). In a 4 point rubric, a 5 is the “standard” (27).


In a holistic rubric, the instructor includes all components or dimensions of an assignment in one category and assesses them together.


For example, for a general writing assignment that any instructor might assign, a simple 4 point rubric could be done holistically as follows:


4 points (exemplary)


Focus: has a clear focused thesis that is specific, original, and appropriate

Organization: has clear and developed paragraphs with specific topic sentences that relate to thesis

Content: uses specific examples or support for thesis and ideas

Style: uses appropriate and professional words and varies sentences

Grammar: adheres to Standard English conventions and has few or no errors


3 points (competent)


Focus: has a clear focus for the paper

Organization: has clear paragraphs that relate to thesis

Content: supports thesis

Style: uses clear appropriate language

Grammar: adheres to Standard English conventions with only slight errors that do not hinder communication


2 points (developing)


Focus: focus for the paper may be unclear or change

Organization: paragraphs may not relate to thesis or be clearly focused

Content: has some support but needs more to develop the thesis

Style: may use some inappropriate or inconsistent words or sentences

Grammar: has some errors in Standard English usage that may interfere with communication


1 point (unsatisfactory)


Focus: no clear focus for the paper

Organization: no clear paragraphs or no connection between paragraphs and thesis

Content: thesis is unsupported

Style: inappropriate or inconsistent words or sentences primarily used

Grammar: many errors in Standard English that interfere with communication


0 points

Did not complete


Although I can see the usefulness of this kind of rubric, the problem is that it doesn’t tell a student why he or she specifically received a 4 or a 2. Often a student may do well in organization, for example, but poorly in support and grammar.


The analytic rubric lets the instructor break down the points more specifically. For example, the rubric would be broken down into its dimension, like this:




4. has a clear focused thesis that is specific, original, and appropriate

3. has a clear focus for the paper

2. focus for the paper may be unclear or change

1. no clear focus for the paper

0. no attempt



This is much more like the rubrics displayed in the Introduction to Rubrics book-which I think are most useful.


Intro to Rubrics: Grading

Introduction to Rubrics, Chapter Six: Grading with Rubrics




In this chapter, the authors discuss several ways that rubrics improve and speed up grading, depending on the type of rubric used. This is the part of the process that I have struggled with and already I have some good ideas about how to improve the use of rubrics. I am interested in learning about how points and grades can and should best be attached to rubrics.


The first thing rubrics can do is make grading more consistent and fair. This book calls this establishing “performance anchors” (73). I laughed when the authors talked about the ways we, as graders, get through papers, by giving ourselves treats, by plowing through in marathon sessions without thinking, by counting and dividing classes into sections. I have done all of these things (I’ve even been known to clean the house—a chore I detest—to avoid grading a pile of papers) to make grading papers more manageable, but rubrics might make grading less of a chore if constructed and used well.


Probably the most useful aspect of rubrics is “providing detailed, formative feedback” (73). By using the three to five level rubric, instructors can avoid writing the same comments on student assignments over and over (nice introduction, thesis needs to be more specific, passive voice problems, need to tie ideas back to thesis, etc). These elements are already in the rubric, so the instructor can just check or circle them, giving students the same feedback but in a more consistent and organized manner. The authors do discuss two methods of using the three to five level rubric—with check boxes and just circling elements. Although creating the check boxes takes a little more time, it seems more useful and organized. For online grading, instructors could use highlighting instead of circling.


Scoring rubrics are also useful and time saving if the students are already pretty proficient in their work. By giving only the highest level of achievement and then room for comments, these scoring rubrics allow students to know the expectations of the assignment and give the instructor opportunity to add individual feedback. However, if the student does have trouble with the final assignment, the scoring rubric doesn’t save much time because the comments are numerous.


The last part of rubric use is, of course, grading. The authors discuss the benefits and pitfalls of assigning points to a rubric. They give a great example of a scoring rubric using points, which makes the grade quite clear to the student and makes grading a simple exercise for the instructor. However, they also talk about the problems with assigning points to rubrics –that students may nitpick over the points in a certain section or want to argue their grade more. They make a good point that before using rubrics, most instructors just gave comments and a grade—much less feedback and organization than a rubric. I think that involving students in weighing the dimensions of a rubric could help with this. If students are invested in the process of creating the rubric, they may not challenge it as much. I will have to try a couple of different ways and see what results in the most improvement. I have always been a pretty holistic grader, but sometimes I find it useful to break down the grade more clearly for me and my students. It can depend on the assignment. In my poem assignments in creative writing, I think assigning points will actually make the grading clearer and more fair—same with a major research paper. I’m not so sure about other assignments like composition I papers, especially the final exam. Even if points are not included in the rubric, students and instructors can usually tell the quality of the paper from the number of checks or circles in each level. For example, if the student has many more checks in the “excellent” category than any other, that is clearly an A paper. Same if the most checks are in the middle category, etc.


The last part of this chapter talks about a really interesting use of rubrics, one I had not considered: evaluating ourselves as instructors. Examples are given of ways to use a rubric to check how students did on assignments as a class, so instructors can track problems and provide ideas for how to improve performance next time. I’d like to try this—it could really improve how I present assignments in the future. The process involves a simple scoring rubric that checks off how students did in each dimension and element overall. This could be done while grading, and then the results will be done when the grading is done.  Nice idea! The authors also discuss using a “metarubric” (93) to evaluate the rubric itself. Interesting idea if the rubric doesn’t seem to be working, but time consuming otherwise.


Based on these ideas, I have revised my poem one rubric to include point values.



Poem One


TASK DESCRIPTION: Length:  At least 10 lines. 

Poem should be typed in word processing program and saved as an RTF (Rich Text Format) file. 

Document should be named: yourlastname_poem1  (for example: swing_poem1)  

Poem should have heading in upper left corner with your name, class, date and the assignment (poem one). Title of the poem should be left-justified before the first line of the poem.

Write a new poem, using at least four of the techniques described in Lesson Six. The poem does not have to rhyme, but it can. 

The poem should include at least four of the following elements:  an end-stopped line, a run-on line, an enjambed line, an original metaphor, an original simile.




DIMENSIONS Excellent Competent Developing Comments and points



Poetic Elements

12 points

□    Includes the required poetry elements of the assignment (four of the following elements:  an end-stopped line, a run-on line, an enjambed line, an original metaphor, an original simile.)

□    Ideas/themes in the poem are enhanced by the poetic techniques

□    Poem uses grammar and punctuation purposely (if rules of standard written English are not followed, there should be clear poetic reasons)


□    Includes three of the four required poetry elements of the assignment (four of the following elements:  an end-stopped line, a run-on line, an enjambed line, an original metaphor, an original simile.)

□    Ideas/themes in the poem are not clearly enhanced by the poetic techniques; the poetic elements seem used only because the assignment requires them

□    Poem uses grammar and punctuation purposely (if rules of standard written English are not followed, there should be clear poetic reasons) although there may be some small errors in English usage or confusion about the use of grammar, capitalization, or punctuation


□    Does not include all of the required poetry elements of the assignment (four of the following elements:  an end-stopped line, a run-on line, an enjambed line, an original metaphor, an original simile.)

□    Ideas/themes in the poem are not enhanced by the poetic techniques; they do not connect clearly

□    Poem does not use standard English usage at all and there is not clear reason for errors in grammar, spelling or punctuation use






6 points


□      Word choices in the poem are original, precise, and thoughtful,

□    Poem shows the author’s style and point of view clearly and in an original manner

□    Poem has a meaningful title


□      Word choices in the poem are clear, but may lack originality or precision

□    Poem has a style and point of view but it may be inconsistent or vague at times

□    Poem has a title, but it may be over general or not contribute to the theme or ideas in the poem clearly


□      Word choices in the poem are clichéd, vague, or seem forced and rushed

□    Poem does not have a clear original style or point of view

□    Poem has no title



4 points

□    Poem has a clear structure, possibly using stanzas or other means (like rhyme) to develop and connect ideas in an organized manner

□    Poem uses line lengths purposefully and consistently to enhance meaning in the poem

□    Poem uses rhythm purposefully and consistently in the poem

□    Poem has an attempt at structure, but it may be inconsistent to unorganized

□    Poem has clear lines but may have inconsistent line lengths for no clear poetic reasons or the lines may not connect clearly to the ideas in the poem

□    Poem has a rhythm but it is inconsistent and possibly awkward in places

□    Poem does not have a clear structure or organization

□    The poem’s lines are broken in unclear ways and may create confusion in ideas and theme

□    Poem has awkward and inconsistent rhythm (try reading the poem aloud to hear where the rhythm is awkward or changes unnecessarily )



3 points

□    Paper has correct heading and formatting,

□    Poem is submitted in the dropbox correctly (with correct file name and in RTF or Microsoft word formatting)

□    The poem was submitted on time


□    Paper has heading and formatting although there may be some errors

□    Poem is submitted in the dropbox but the file was labeled incorrectly or the file format was not RTF or Microsoft Word

□    The poem was submitted on time


□    Paper has no heading and/or errors in formatting

□    Poem is submitted in the dropbox incorrectly (without correct file name and/or in an unreadable word processing format)

□    The poem was submitted late


Total Points: 25       Grade:



Overall Comments:






Intro to Rubrics: chapters 4 and 5

Introduction to Rubrics, Chapters Four and Five

 These two chapters discuss using input from others in the construction and revision of rubrics.


 Chapter 4: Rubric Construction and the classroom

 In the past, I have used rubrics in classes mostly as a guide to an assignment and as a grading tool. In this chapter, the authors talk about using students more directly to create rubrics or at least using rubrics to gauge the students’ understanding of an assignment.  Involving students in rubric making can give them more ownership in their work and in their grade. I like that idea.

 Five models for student interaction are explained in this chapter. 

  1. The Presentation Model: this is where a rubric is made and presented to students. Students are allowed to ask for questions and clarification, and they can discuss the assignment and the grading. However, no changes are necessarily made to the rubric. In the past, this is the way that I have involved students in my rubric making.  It does usually give me an idea of what parts of the assignment they understand and what I might need to explain or model further.
  2. The Feedback Model: In this model, students are given the rubric, and they can ask questions, suggest changes and clarification, and possibly even have input into how much each dimension is weighted. I like the idea that this can involve students in the process more and make them think about what parts of an assignment are most important. I also like that it can be done in one class period or less.
  3. The Pass-the-Hat Model: in this model, students help create the highest expectations of an assignment based on the assignment description and discussion. Students write one suggestion per piece of paper (of what an A assignment component would be), and then those suggestions are collected in a hat or other (possibly creative) receptacle. The instructor then takes the suggestions and groups them or has students be involved in the grouping or making of dimensions.  The authors say that, although students rarely leave out any crucial element of an assignment, the instructor can always add that in or revise other elements to make the rubric reflect his or her expectations. This method is definitely more time consuming but more interactive too. I can see using it for a first or second paper and then basing other rubrics on the results.
  4. The Post-it™ Model: Like the pass-the-hat model, students write down the elements of an A assignment on Post-it™ notes; then then stick them up around the room. The students are then asked to group the suggestions, creating dimensions. Then the dimensions and elements are put together on a large board and students can discuss the elements, the groupings, and basically get the foundation for the rubric. The instructor then takes the ideas and creates the final rubric outside of class. Although this model is time consuming, I think students would have fun—and be engaged in the process. I would like to try it.
  5. The 4X4 Model: Students are put into groups of four or so and asked to review the assignment. Then each group comes up with four dimensions for the assignment. The groups present their ideas and discuss the similarities and difference in their categories, ultimately voting on the four that will be included. Then the students go back to their groups and write up four levels from 1-4 (one as the lowest) for each dimension. Then the rubrics are presented, discussed, and voted on again. The students may go back to their groups one more time to change the 1-4 levels to words like exemplary, competent, etc. I love this idea, but it would take a significant amount of class time. I can see using it on the major research paper in Comp II or something that takes a huge portion of the class, so students really are a part of the grading model, and they fully understand and agree with the expectations of the assignment.


Chapter Five: Rubric Construction with others: teaching assistant, tutors, or colleagues

 T.A.s: Since our two year institutions don’t use teaching assistants, I didn’t spend too much time on this part of the chapter; however, I could see involving student mentors in rubric making or revision. They could help by both giving suggestions and in helping the students in the class understand the rubric.

Learning center tutors: Involving the learning center in rubrics is a great idea—either in the construction or at least in making sure the learning center tutors have copies of the rubrics and helping them understand the expectations and ideas. I definitely plan to give copies of my rubrics to the writing center staff and request that students bring them when they go in to work with tutors.

Colleagues: Through assessment initiatives, I have been involved in grading with a common rubric with other instructors before. It is extremely useful in both being more consistent in grading policies and in discussing ideas. I would like to see if the English department could come up with some standard rubrics to use in our final exit exams in English 0450, 0460, and 1106 and maybe even for a comprehensive research paper for 1109. Even discussing what goes into these rubrics would be useful. I will bring back this idea when I return from my sabbatical. I also want to develop a rubric for the 1106 final exam that I can use that can be used to start the conversation of a common exit exam rubric.