Pedagogy: Using Rubrics to Cut Grading Time

We’re reaching the end of the semester, the time when faculty frequently become overwhelmed by the amount of grading at hand. Between term papers, final exams, oral presentations, and other graded assignments, this is easily the busiest time of the semester. But using rubrics can cut the amount of time spent grading student work. A rubric is a tool that lists the factors of student performance that will be evaluated and the criteria for each level of performance on an assignment. Rubrics provide a structured way to think quickly but comprehensively about student work. It also permits the instructor to provide clearer feedback to students.

Sample rubrics are available from the Department of Political Science at Skidmore College, Southern Utah University, Delta State University, and the University of Richmond. The RCampus Gallery also maintains an extensive collection of rubrics. Try using one and see if it cuts your grading time.

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