Check out this description of this different rubric types to get more detail on the distinction between analytical and holistic rubrics

Check out this description of this different rubric types to get more detail on the distinction between analytical and holistic rubrics

Recently 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 method in which my use of holistic rubrics allows us to focus this grading work on student development in reading, writing and thinking.

A few years ago I used analytical rubrics.

These are the rubrics that function a lot more like a checklist, where students will get 10 points for his or her thesis statement, and then get 7 points because of their usage of evidence. A holistic rubric however, 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 to one another, although the connection may be less interesting or clear than during the Honor Roll level.
  • Student accurately describes the literary device(s) (aka “writer’s moves”) discussed
  • Student clearly and accurately describes a significant idea through the text overall 1 , although the >may not be a interpretation that is nuanced. However, the interpretation continues to be abstract, but not clichйd.
  • Student cites ev >attempts to use us into the most useful way
  • Student completely explains the connections between details (ev >attempting to use words that are signal describe relationships between ideas

Although the bullet points get this to rubric look a bit more “analytical,” the reality is in holistic way that I use it. I have just found that students fine it better to grasp a rubric this is certainly broken up into pieces, in place of two long and complex sentences that describe essentially the same idea.

After using these rubrics for just two years (with some minor revisions in language) I have seen them help students grow far more than my analytical rubrics ever did, and even though I don’t spend time that is much” the rubrics to my students. The following is why I’m now such an admirer of the holistic rubrics and the way they are now facilitating the improvement of student writing rather than simply recording it.

1) Feedback, not grades, may be the goal. Holistic rubrics support this. Through most of a phrase I give students within my class tons of feedback on the writing and minimal feedback via grades. They are able to get a 100 away from 100 for simply completing an essay, even in the event it still needs a great deal of development. Because my rubric is holistic and linked with terms like “Meet Expectations” rather than giving points for some other part of the writing, it really 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 receive the same score on an analytical rubric. I’ve run into this problem time and 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 bit of explanation often received exactly the same point value as writing where in actuality the student made a more nuanced point, or used more interesting evidence that connected to the thesis in interesting ways, or higher important developed from the beginning to the end. Often it was considering that the categories I measured were really just parts 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 simple method of assessing how well the writing flowed or was developed. In addition it meant there clearly was no way that is good my analytical rubric there was no good way to fully capture how students were pay for essay reviews taking chances, and important element of writing development.

3) Holistic rubrics are only better at assessing the real method in which the areas of an essay work together. Once the essay that is wholeor any written piece) is described together it became easier for me to parse out that which was strong and weak about student writing. Take a example that is recent I became giving students feedback about a fairly standard essay in regards to the memoir Night. They needed to move up ion the rubric, I quickly realized that their reasoning and explanation of their evidence needed more work as I was reading student essays and considering what feedback. More specifically, students were basically paraphrasing their evidence instead of actually explaining how it supported their thesis. When I used to utilize analytical rubrics I would personally have thought this was an isolated problem within 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 in order to make about a student grade if they get one overall score in place of 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 would not be in a position to escape work, I am able to make work more meaningful, also it certainly really helps to make grading fun and enriching.

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