Not long ago I finished a marathon of grading portfolios, and grading revised portfolios for my students. It’s a stressful and busy time, but the one thing I’m very happy about may be the way that my usage of holistic rubrics allows us to focus this grading work on student development in reading, writing and thinking.
A few years ago I used rubrics that are analytical.
They are the rubrics that function similar to a checklist, where students will get 10 points for his or her thesis statement, and get 7 points then because of their usage of evidence. A rubric that is holistic, generally describes what an item (such as an essay, analysis paragraph etc.)
appears like at each level, like this example from my “Analysis writing rubric that is”
- Student identifies details which are highly relevant to the written text overall 1 and that clearly connect with each other, even though the connection may be less interesting or clear than at the Honor Roll level.
- Student accurately describes the literary device(s) (aka “writer’s moves”) discussed
- Student clearly and accurately describes an essential idea through the text overall 1 , though the >may not be a interpretation that is nuanced. However, the interpretation continues to be abstract, not clichйd.
- Student cites ev >attempts to use us when you look at the most useful way
- Student completely explains the connections between details (ev >attempting to use words that are signal describe relationships between ideas
Whilst the bullet points get this to rubric look a little more “analytical,” the reality is in holistic way that I use it. custom thesis writing I have just discovered that students fine it simpler to grasp a rubric that is broken up into pieces, instead of two long and complex sentences that describe fundamentally the same idea.
After using these rubrics for just two years (with a few minor revisions in language) We have seen them help students grow much more than my analytical rubrics ever did, even though I don’t spend time that is much” the rubrics to my students. The following is why I’m now such a fan among these holistic rubrics and how they are now actually facilitating the improvement of student writing as opposed to simply recording it.
1) Feedback, not grades, could be the goal. Holistic rubrics support this. Through the majority of a term I give students within my class a great deal of feedback on their writing and minimal feedback via grades. They can get a 100 away from 100 for simply completing an essay, whether or not it still needs a great deal of development. Because my rubric is holistic and tied to terms like “Meet Expectations” instead of giving points for some other part of the writing, it is easier for students to understand how their first draft needs substantial revision in order to “meet expectations” and even though their completion grade (which uses points instead) is 100/100.
2) Good writing and mediocre writing can get the same score on an analytical rubric. I’ve run into this dilemma some time time again.When I used analytical rubrics to grade essays I often found that simple, formulaic writing with a 1-sentence thesis statement and some basic evidence with some little bit of explanation often received exactly the same point value as writing where in fact the student made an even more nuanced point, or used more interesting evidence that connected to your thesis in interesting ways, or higher important developed right from the start into the end. Often this is due to the fact categories I measured were really just components of the essay: one category for thesis statement, one category for evidence, one category for reasoning, etc. With all these parts separated there was no way that is good of how good the writing flowed or was created. It also meant there is no great way on my analytical rubric there is no great way to capture how students were taking chances, and important part of writing development.
3) Holistic rubrics are only better at assessing the real method in which the elements of an essay work together. When the essay that is wholeor any piece of writing) is described together it became easier in my situation to parse out that which was strong and weak about student writing. Take a recent example: I was giving students feedback about a fairly standard essay concerning the memoir Night. As I was reading student essays and considering what feedback they had a need to move up ion the rubric, I quickly realized that their reasoning and explanation of these evidence needed more work. More specifically, students were basically paraphrasing their evidence in place of actually explaining how it supported their thesis. When I used to make use of analytical rubrics I would have thought this was an isolated problem into the “reasoning” section. However, I realized that part of the reason the student reasoning was lacking was because their thesis statements were overly simplistic because I was using a holistic rubric and looking at the essay more as a whole. It is hard to develop interesting reasoning because, really, what was their interesting to say? Thanks to this holistic view I was able to give students feedback that helped them develop a stronger thesis and then revise their reasoning accordingly when you have an overly simplistic, obvious thesis statement.
4) Last but not least, holistic rubrics make grading simpler and faster. You will find far fewer decisions to produce about a student grade if they get one overall score instead of five or seven different scores for every section of a writing piece. Fewer decisions means faster grading. While I would want to inform you this faster grading leaves me with more time for personal pursuits, the truth is it just leaves additional time for giving more meaningful feedback, concentrate on trends I see in student writing by class, etc. While i may never be in a position to escape work, I am able to make work more meaningful, plus it certainly really helps to make grading fun and enriching.