How do you Understand the Essay Rubric

There are various ways of evaluating a student’s essay. The essay rubric is one such tool. It is used to evaluate the student’s performance along a set of criteria predetermined by the teacher. The rubric is a democratic method of evaluating students’ skills and has helped teachers and students across the world use it effectively.
The rubric criteria help to assess various parameters and allow self and peer assessment of the work. You could use different sets of criteria that test different skills such as language, tone, grammar, creativity, level of interest, catching the reader’s attention, details, structure, presentation, and other such factors that affect your essay writing.
The importance of a rubric, according to Heidi Goodrich Andrade, is that “Rubrics can improve student performance, as well as monitor it, by making teachers’ expectations clear and by showing students how to meet these expectations” (Andrade, Understanding Rubrics, 1997). Peer reviews help students know their own failings as well as those of others. This makes them more aware of what is required and what is not, and this, in turn, affects their future performance with essay writing. It gives students a sort of hands-on experience with assessing themselves and their peers, and the criticism and appreciation go a long way in creating a sense of achievement.
The rubric is usually drawn up as a vertical table with columns, the left column indicating the criteria and the right column the remarks and assessment. The use of the rubric helps to clarify what is expected of the student, and helps the teacher look out for specific areas. According to Andrade, the rubric helps teachers reduce the time taken to evaluate essays. This is mainly because peer and self assessment do half the work for teachers who then need only look over and give their comments. Andrade’s article, Understanding Rubrics” gives an in-depth analysis of rubrics and how they help students and teachers as well as various rubric examples.
Online education also needs constant assessment and more so than its classroom counterpart. The Rubric for Online Instruction was created keeping this necessity in mind. Quality could be at a premium in online courses, and the rubric is a good way to maintain and enhance quality by creating a sense of responsibility and accountability among both instructors and students. This Rubric can be used in any of these three ways: “As a self-evaluation tool assisting instructors how to revise their existing course to the rubric’s suggestions; as a means for getting public recognition for exemplary online instruction;” as a way to design a new course for the online environment, following the rubric as a roadmap” (The Rubric for Online Instruction.).
The essay rubric can be seen as a means to simplifying the assessment process, democratizing it, and enhancing learning abilities in all types of students. The rubric is getting increasingly popular as such a tool and ensures fair representation and evaluation of students’ essay writing skills by helping them understand the requirements and trying to maintain the standards specified.