Furthermore, at times the rubric can be vague which can create a sense of ambiguity or unreliability among students’ work. For example, one of the expectations in the rubric states “I used the sounds we have learned to spell words the best I could”, however “the best I could” will vary from student to student. Therefore, we need to ensure that expectations are clear. Rather than saying “to the best of one’s ability” we should provide specific expectations such as “I used the sounds we have learned in addition to other resources (ie. Dictionaries, books, the teacher) to spell words that were unfamiliar”. By doing so, students are aware of the specific expectations and are given the tools and information to be successful. What is more, we create a standard expectation that is the same for each student.
In addition, it is important to provide detailed feedback. I like to add a comment section to the bottom of rubrics that demonstrates what students are doing well in addition to next steps for improvement based on the outlined expectations in the rubric or assessment tool. This assessment tool is ambiguous as to what a student may have done or did not do in order to receive a level 1, 2, 3, or 4 (0, 1, 2, 3). Therefore, it is especially important that the teacher provide descriptive feedback to outline the areas of success and the areas for improvement as this information is much more valuable to the student than his/her overall grade. Alternatively the rubric could provide more information as to what might qualify for a level 1, 2, 3, or 4.
Finally, one benefit to this rubric is that it could easily be changed into a checklist for student self-evaluation. All of the expectations are there and it would be easy for a student to go through each expectation prior to submitting their assignment to see if they are meeting each expectation or to rate themselves on a scale on how well they think they met each expectation. In addition, the vocabulary in this rubric is easy for a third or fourth grade student to understand and it uses words like “I” which makes it easier for students to identify with. The rubric is easily understood to benefit student learning and aid the development of their assignment.