May 8, 2011

. The importance of Rubrics

This week's readings were very interesting and important for the understanding of assessment through the class period. I particularly liked the alternative assessment because through some activities, students can show their strengths rather than their weaknesses when using the language. This method is enforcing the learner rather than discouraging him/her, so it improves the motivation when doing a task. A very interesting point that was taken into consideration was that the student can improve their learning through self evaluation. By doing this, students not only can show their linguistic abilities, but they can also show their learning process. Another important aspect that seems to be very effective is the fact that leaning occurs not by looking at how many right answers you got, but by how well you can communicate the message. Probably, the biggest advantage when using this method would be that the student actively participates in the activity; which indeed helps to develop their skills.
I have used check list in my classes for keeping track of the observed performance of the student, and this gives me a better idea if the student is meeting the required task. For example, for one my class activities, I asked my students to do a group project where they had to do some drafts before submitting and actually presenting the work to the class. I used checklist as a way of keeping track that they have submitted all of the required materials that were asked fro the class and if not, I deducted point from the project.
For my writing class, I always use rubrics because it gives the student a clear and brief explanation of what is expected for the paper. I always design these rubrics by diving it into 4 parts: the introductory section, the body, the conclusion and finally the strengths of their paper. By using this kind of assessment, students have clear understanding of what Is going to be assessed when turning in their papers
Finally I would like to say that incorporating alternative assessment into the classrooms activities can become one of the most powerful tools for teachers to implement in their assessment program,.

On the other hand, Web Quests is a powerful website where students can get information, explore and also evaluate. The information gotten is all from the web. I personally think that it is one of the best ways of learning and teaching because there are some advantages. It can be done in one class period and it also involves work from all the students which increases their motivation level.


  1. Santiago,

    Just as you do, I use rubrics for writing, makes assessment and grading easier. Besides, since they constantly read the parameters of the rubric, they become more aware of what a very good paper may look like and they should do to reach this level.

  2. Hi Santiago
    Good point about showing strengths rather than weaknesses. I think Carl has developed an assessment system called "LinguaFolio" which is basically a portfolio of "can do" lists, checking that the speaker can perform that function in the target language. I think you can search for LinguaFolio on the CASLS website.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.