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Why Use a Rubric for Peer Review?

When reviewing a peer’s work, it is often useful to use a defined rubric as a guide, to help reviewers give more structured feedback.
Learners in the computer lab looking at their screens
© Wellcome Connecting Science

When reviewing a peer’s work, it is often useful to use a defined rubric as a guide. Use of a rubric can help reviewers give more structured feedback, focused on specific points of the work being reviewed.

A rubric is a scoring guide that can be used to assess/evaluate some performance. It normally has criteria and a rating scale with indicators for each criterion/performance level. Performance level descriptions can be qualitative as well as quantitative (Brookhart, 2018). You will find more on rubric design in this step’s download area as well as in the Resources and References Step at the end of the course.

Rubric with Bloom’s pyramid

A rubric can also be regarded as a teaching method that develops learners’ thinking by bringing it to the Bloom’s pyramid level of Analysis/Evaluation. The rubric can also provide a tool for further use, adaptation and application.

‘They [the rubrics] are similar to portfolios, exhibitions and other authentic approaches to assessment as they blur the distinction between instruction and assessment’ (Andrade, 2000)
When using rubrics to assess each other’s work, learners are implicitly taught about what would be expected from them in an assessment. i.e. which elements of their own work will be looked at. On this course, you will be offered a rubric when reviewing an assignment written by one of your fellow learners.
‘The criteria and performance level descriptions, together, can help students conceptualize their learning goal, focus on important aspects of learning and performance, and envision where they are in their learning and what they should try to improve – and true descriptive rubrics support student learning better than the other types of tools’.
‘Rubrics are one way to make learning expectations explicit for learners. Appropriate criteria are key’. (Brookhart, 2018)


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