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During the #ONEdMentors radio show tonight, @jkervs (who happens to have been my grade 8 teacher!) mentioned how using rubrics can sometimes impede on creativity. It’s ironic, though, because – for some reason – many think of rubrics as this golden assessment tool that can do no wrong. How timely this conversation was, as I just assigned a summative project today…with a rubric on the back.

There are many advantages of using a rubric. Students can see clearly what the teacher is looking for, and can compare the rubric with their own product. They are also easy to mark, because the descriptions are already built into the rubric.

There are also some disadvantages of using a rubric: You can see exactly what the teacher is looking for…so you’re not encouraged to think outside the box. Or perhaps the student does something amazing, but it’s not fully correlated with a component of the project so doesn’t command any evaluative significance.

I wonder – when have you used rubrics? When have you intentionally chosen not to?