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Rubrics are learning tools for students and teachers. They can be used to clarify learning goals, provide feedback, and improve critical thinking. Simply using a rubric to score student work, however, is not enough to achieve learning gains (NRC 2001). Using the rubric as a tool—not just a measuring stick—is the key to reaping the full benefits it has to offer. In this article, the authors describe a series of rubrics developed for their general and advanced biology courses. They then develop three ideas, based on the science education literature and their own experience, for using rubrics to foster learning—to clarify learning goals, build complex understandings, and encourage intellectual risk-taking.

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Type Journal ArticlePub Date 1/1/2011Stock # tst11_078_01_28Volume 078Issue 01

NSTA Press produces classroom-ready activities, hands-on approaches to inquiry, relevant professional development, the latest scientific education news and research, assessment and standards-based instruction.

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