Rubrics have become main stream in today’s educational systems. Often times educators include rubrics at the prompting of their administrators or because it is an expected component of a course, but there are substantial benefits for both teachers and students.
Consistent use of rubrics aid students in understanding the core concepts of an assignment and what they should be taking away from a particular assignment or project. Rubrics can function as a checklist and provide guidance when completing small and large assignment alike. Another positive is the concrete feedback that comes from a rubric. Often times grading, especially for subjective assignments consisting of writing, can be perplexing for students without specific feedback; rubrics provide frameworks for these grades and allow students to focus on areas of weakness. The benefits towards students are fairly obvious, but what are often overlooked are the benefits for the instructor.
One of the most laborious aspects of teaching is the grading component. Using specific and structured rubrics insures that each student is graded fairly and consistently within the expectations of the course. It removes some of the subjectivity of grading and allows a teacher to focus only on the elements presented in the rubric. Not only does it remove inconsistencies, but rubrics increase expediency as well. Using a well-developed rubric can reduce the number of comments from a teacher while still maintaining a high level of constructive feedback for students. For teacher and students to reap maximum benefits from a rubric, it is always best to provide rubrics at the beginning of a course or project. This will provide students with objectives to work towards and help guide teachers in their instruction.
There are many sites that are dedicated to providing educators with rubrics. Two sites that provide teachers with the opportunity to customize and create their own rubrics are http://rubistar.4teachers.org/ and irubric.com. Both sites are free and have categorized premade rubrics with the option of tweaking their rubrics or starting your own from scratch.