Enhancing Student Learning and Grading with Rubrics

January 9, 2018 Jonathan E. Martin

Editorial note: Listen to educational consultant Jonathan Martin and Dr. Caroline Kill, director of curriculum and pedagogy at The Barstow School, discuss the advantages of rubrics on the Get Connected podcast.

Rubrics are on the rise in K–12 education right now, particularly at schools pushing beyond traditional modes of teaching and learning by having students do more projects and authentic work. As educator Bob Lenz wrote in an excellent book called Transforming Education, “Over the last twenty years, the tool that has gained widespread acceptance for meeting the challenge of defining and determining ‘mastery’ is the rubric, whose defining characteristic is its insistence on words, rather than abstract symbols, to describe the quality of the work.”

Rubrics are rising in usage because, unlike the grading practice I experienced as a student, rubrics are both an efficient and a comprehensive assessment tool that provides students with much more information for their growth.

More and more commonly, teachers are using rubrics—or at least something labeled as a rubric, which is a topic we review in this eBook—for assessing student tasks. Sometimes, though not as frequently, schools are using universal rubrics for the key conceptual understandings and essential competencies that the school has determined to be of greatest importance.

Whether you are a school administrator looking across the breadth of your program or a classroom teacher focused on your coursework, as a reader of this eBook, you are invited to advance the cause of rubrics as a tool for greater student learning by implementing the regular use of high-quality rubrics. If you are already doing so, this eBook will help you refine your existing practices and deploy them more consistently for student learning.

Download the eBook above to continue reading Enhancing Student Learning and Grading with Rubrics by Jonathan Martin, and, as the sub-title suggests, discover How Blackbaud Can Help with our onCampus Learning Management System (LMS) for K-12 private and independent schools.  

About the Author

Jonathan E. Martin

Jonathan E. Martin has 15 years experience as a Head of School, and eight years as a teacher, at three independent schools in California and Arizona. He holds a BA from Harvard University and an MA in School Administration from the University of San Francisco; in 2008 he was a Visiting Fellow at Teachers College, Columbia University. An expert on 21st century learning and assessment, he has presented to school-leaders, teachers, and trustees at more than eighty conferences and schools since 2010. He writes widely and consults to schools nationally on innovative instruction, 21st century educational program design, educational leadership, and next-generation assessment. Jonathan is also a Blackbaud K-12 expert and you can find him online at www.21k12blog.net and on Twitter @JonathanEMartin.

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