To rubric or not to rubric: That is the question
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In conclusion, although there are certainly a number of challenges associated with the effective utilization of rubrics, we agree that rubrics have the potential to be highly useful tools for faculty members to consider using. Our primary contribution to this scholarly discussion is to question the framing of rubrics as something akin to a panacea for assessment issues. They are not. As with any teaching tool, we believe faculty should never be forced to use tools that they are neither committed to nor adequately supported in the use of. Comfort and commitment to using a tool are critical components of effective teaching. Similarly, we believe the intricacies involved in effective utilization of both skill development frameworks and rubrics are much more complex than a single article can convey. Finally, we view learning as dynamic and organic—not cookie-cutter and precise. It cannot be measured perfectly through rubrics, nor can rubrics take the place of faculty member experience, passion, and motivation. As John Dewey (1910) so aptly stated many decades ago, “To nurture inspiring aim and executive means into harmony with each other is at once the difficulty and the reward of the teacher”.
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