Recently in the Learning Technology Department we’ve been taking lots of calls and emails from staff wanting to use Rubrics in their teaching and learning but specifically, marking.
What are they?
Rubrics could also be called Grading or Marking Criteria. I’m sure many of you are used to the grid system used to mark students work using ‘Scales’ (e.g. 1st, 2:1, 2nd etc… / Pass, Merit, Distinction etc…) and ‘Criteria’ (e.g. Knowledge, Presentation, Understanding, Content etc…)
If you translate your paper criterias into a rubric in Blackboard (or Turnitin) you can use them electronically to mark your students’ work quickly and efficiently. There are of course some limitations (for instance you can’t annotate a rubric as some would on a paper copy) but once you learn to work with them and create your own departmental methods, in time it should become much quicker and easier. The best bit is that it’s all saved alongside the submitted work so that students can always refer to it and staff can always cross check their marks or conduct second marking easily.
Where do I set them up?
Rubrics are available in both Turnitin and with a number of Blackboard (Learning Edge) tools such as Blogs, Wikis, Discussion Forums and Assignments.
However! Turnitin only likes Turnitin Rubrics and Blackboard only likes Blackboard Rubrics.
If you create a rubric you can use it multiple times across different submissions, so for example; if you create a rubric in Turnitin you can use it across multiple Turnitin dropboxes. The same goes for Blackboard tools.
You can also ‘share’ rubrics with others – so if you’ve created a rubric someone else can grab a copy from you to use in their own assignments (you export it, email it to them and they import it).
For details on how and where to find and set up Turnitin Rubrics check out the package created especially for just that: Turnitin Rubrics ePackage
For Blackboard Rubrics check out the Blackboard help pages:
Blackboard Rubrics Guide
So why should I use them?
Rubrics can speed up your marking and can also take away some of the extensive writing that you have to do when giving feedback. If used well you should find that you write less ‘generic’ things and can focus more on specific student feedback.
Rubrics can also help with consistency – if all the module or programme tutors use the same rubric then students across that module or course will have more of the same, equal feedback so there will be less disparity.
Rubrics can be used alongside Quickmarks or comments and also general comments, audio feedback and the final overall mark.
We hope you find it useful and helpful to use rubrics in your practice. Let us know if you have any comments about them or if you need any further support to roll them out.
Learning Technology Development Officer