Benefits for incorporating this practice into your classroom include:
1) Students internalize the criteria for high-quality work.
Students who see clear models of work that meet the standards (such as Exemplars anchor papers) and understand why the work meets the standards will begin to make comparisons between their performance and the Exemplars presented. As tasks become more complex and open-ended, it is essential that more than one model be provided to assure that students understand different strategies to meet the standards.
2) Students understand the process of getting to the standard.
Exemplars rubrics should show students where they have been, where they are now and where they will be. Describing progressive levels of performance becomes a guide for the journey, rather than a blind walk through an assessment maze.
3) Teachers involve students in the monitoring process and shift some of the responsibility for documenting and justifying learning to the students.
Research has demonstrated that high-performing learners do the following:
- Use feedback from peers to guide their learning process
4) Students understand that standards are "real" and achievable.
Students have a clear understanding of what it means to meet the standard. Exemplars rubrics and annotated anchor papers demonstrate what this type of student work looks like. These resources also show students how they might go beyond what is expected to exceed the standard.
5) Parents understand expectations and assessment criteria.
When students can articulate to their parents (before, during and at the end of the task), what the standards of performance are, a clear and positive message is received. Parents generally want to support their child's learning and feel helpless, sometimes, because they are unsure of what open-ended tasks are intended to teach. Student rubrics remove the educational jargon yet still describe meaningful learning. Many teachers find rubrics and anchor papers useful during parent conferences as they review a particular student's work.