Essays in Education


In language teaching, assessment is one of the most formidable challenges for both the students and the teachers. Especially, when the assessment of productive skills which are subjective by their nature are concerned, the "challenge" could very well turn into a "nightmare" for both parties. In order to avoid this undesired possibility, the attitude of the grader and the students towards the evaluation rubric is as vital as the rubric itself.

This study describes the standardization process of the writing rubric for the assessment of essays, which is accepted both by the graders and the learners who are subject to this evaluation. The paper outlines the phases of rubric revision and describes student involvement in essay evaluation. Special emphasis is put on how students used the rubric as a learning tool while writing their essays, and how they benefited from being familiarized to the rubric.

The results refer to the importance of inter-rater reliability, which is achieved by revising the assessment rubric in line with grader suggestions, and by checking consistency among graders of writing at certain intervals. The study also suggests that learner involvement in assessment promotes the outcome.

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