Professional Reading-December 98 : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread

Using Rubrics in High School Mathematics Courses by Denisse R. Thompson and Sharon L. Senk, The Mathematics Teacher, December 1998, pp.786-793.

Some information and thoughts on this topic by Timm Ringhofer

First, some background information about rubrics. Rubrics are a set of guidelines for evaluating students responses to one or more tasks. There are two different types of rubrics according to the article. One is general rubric which is a broad outline that indicates various levels of performance and factors that teachers should consider when specifying performance levels. The second is task-specific rubric which interprets a general rubric for a specific task and specifies the particular aspects of the task that determine each level of performance (p. 786) One of the main reasons I found this article interesting is that it compares partial credit versus rubric grading. I have always believed in giving partial credit on quizzes and tests. Each step receives a certain number of points and ones paper was graded accordingly. Now that we are going to have to institute performance packages into our classroom by directive of our ever-knowing state board of education and legislature, we are going to be using a rubric to grade these performance packages. Recently, I gave a chapter test that was a performance assessment out of the teacher supplied materials for my algebra 2 class. The test was designed to allow the students to put as little or as much work into the problem as they wanted. However, the grading was to be done with a rubric on a scale of 0-3. The article stated that grading with a rubric was easier and probably less time consuming than grading with partial credit. I will agree this is true because I had a successful anchor paper with a score of 3 to use in grading . An anchor paper is one that shows what each score from 0-3 should sort of look like. These papers are then used to compare and then give a grade. However, if one does not have an anchor paper, then one would have to develop or take the time to find examples from the students work for each scoring level. This can be much more time consuming than with partial credit. The grading of the tests was also very subjective I thought. Read the problem only once to score was the recommended guideline from the article, then give a grade. With only four different grades to possible give, the difference in individual problems getting the same grade can be overwhelming, especially if the problem contains as many as ten steps. In fairness to rubrics, I am not saying I cannot grade using them. It is all what one is used to doing to grade papers. Everyone finds a system that works for them, and they use it. This applies to all different subjects at a high school or if it is a teacher at an elementary or middle school. I believe that the key is to be comfortable and fair with how one grades students papers!

-- Anonymous, December 02, 1998

Moderation questions? read the FAQ