The Dark Side of Rubrics and Writing Assignments: Creating Those That Work

Document Type


Publication Date



In the quest for accountability in writing assessment, teachers might forget those to whom we should first be accountable: our students. Providing students with clear, accessible, and understandable writing assessment materials promotes accountability. In this hands-on workshop, participants explore issues related to assessment of second language writers and their work by actually creating assessment tools that are transparent and understandable to students and that act as both teaching and assessment tools. The workshop leader will first distribute and discuss examples of student writing and several different types of rubrics. Participants will practice rating this work before dividing into small groups to create assignments for their own classrooms. They will work to generate criteria for the assignments, following up with rubric creation based on those criteria. Participants will then present their criteria and rubrics for critique and discussion.


Workshop presented at Alabama Mississippi TESOL (AMTESOL), Hattiesburg, MI, January 27, 2017.