Another critic of rubrics, Maja Wilson, suggests that writing offers its own set of criteria and that each piece should be examined individually.Without rubrics, some instructors grade student essays as a full and complete work that sets its own boundaries through its chosen audience.As an alternative, Gonzalez suggests a three-column format that gives teachers the opportunity to pinpoint feedback to individual students.
Because a rubric identifies pertinent aspects of a piece of writing, these rules communicate expectations to students.
Students no longer wonder what their instructor wants, but instead consider how to fulfill specific criteria in their writing assignment.
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.
The clearer your expectations are and the more feedback you give your students, the more successful your students will be.
If you use a rubric in your essay grading, you can communicate those standards as well as make your grading more objective with more practical suggestions for your students.
Writing teachers can set expectations in two forms: analytical and holistic rubrics.
Both identify criteria for the essay, but then their paths diverge.
As a composition instructor, I’ve struggled with my own rubrics of late, trying to modify an analytical rubric or redesign a holistic rubric for different assignments.
I’ve even asked students to design their own rubric in order to examine what they perceive as important criteria for the assessment of their essays.