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 one thing I’m very happy about may be the way that my utilization of holistic rubrics allows us to focus this grading focus on student growth in reading, writing and thinking.
They are the rubrics that function similar to a checklist, where students could possibly get 10 points with regards to their thesis statement, and then get 7 points because of their use of evidence. A rubric that is holistic, generally describes what an item (such as for instance an essay, analysis paragraph etc.)
Whilst the bullet points make this rubric look a little more “analytical,” the reality is that i take advantage of it in holistic way. I have just discovered that students fine it simpler to grasp a rubric this is certainly broken up into pieces, in place of two long and complex sentences that describe fundamentally the idea that is same.
After making use of these rubrics for 2 years (with a few minor revisions in language) We have seen them help students grow far more than my analytical rubrics ever did, and even though I don’t spend much time “teaching” the rubrics to my students. Here is why I’m now such a fan of these rubrics that are holistic the way they are in fact facilitating the improvement of student writing as opposed to simply recording it.
1) Feedback, not grades, may be the goal. Holistic rubrics support this. Through almost all of a term I give students during my class a great deal of feedback on their writing and feedback that is minimal grades. They are able to get a 100 out of 100 for simply completing an essay, regardless if it still needs tons of development. Because my rubric is holistic and tied to terms like “Meet Expectations” rather than giving points for different parts of the writing, it is easier for students to comprehend how their first draft needs substantial revision in order to “meet expectations” 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 rubric that is analytical. I’ve run into this problem some time time again.When I used analytical rubrics to grade essays I often unearthed that simple, formulaic writing with a 1-sentence thesis statement and some basic evidence with some little bit of explanation often received the same point value as writing where in fact the student made a far more nuanced point, or used more interesting evidence that connected towards the thesis in interesting ways, or higher important developed from the beginning towards the end. Often this was because the categories I measured were actually just areas of the essay: one category for thesis statement, one category for evidence, one category for reasoning, etc. Along with these parts separated there was clearly no way that is good of how good the writing flowed or was developed. Moreover it meant there was no simple method on my analytical rubric there is no simple method to capture how students were taking risks, and important part of writing development.
3) Holistic rubrics are just better at assessing the way that the parts of an essay come together. As soon as the whole essay (or any piece of writing) is described together it became easier in my situation to parse out what was strong pay for research paper and weak about student writing. Take a example that is recent I was giving students feedback about a pretty standard essay in regards to 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 the evidence needed more work. More specifically, students were basically paraphrasing their evidence as opposed to actually explaining how it supported their thesis. Whenever I used to make use of analytical rubrics i might 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 most certainly not least, holistic rubrics make grading simpler and faster. You will find far fewer decisions to create about a student grade once they get one overall score rather than five or seven different scores for each element of a writing piece. Fewer decisions means faster grading. With more time for personal pursuits, the reality is it just leaves more time for giving more meaningful feedback, focus on trends I see in student writing by class, etc while I would love to tell you this faster grading leaves me. While I might never be able to escape work, I am able to make work more meaningful, and it also certainly helps to make grading fun and enriching.