** Not your ordinary, endless list – just what’s number 1.
The rubric is a very transparent and accountable way to assess students. It is a grid where you clearly show students “what criteria they will be assessed by” and “what levels or indicators the teacher will look for”. It communicates to students clear expectations on the part of the teacher. Here’s a nice example of a rubric which the of the SOLOM – a standard speaking proficiency rubric.
There are 2 main ways to use a rubric.
1. Make it with the students. Yes, have a conference and ask the students to list the things that they should do well in the task/activity/unit/language that they are practicing. List these as criteria. Then ask them what would make a “bad” effort and a “great” effort. Describe these. After, copy these down into a rubric (or have a student do this) and then put this up for all to see in the classroom. You might even do this in the students L1 if possible – the goal being to communicate expectations and not to “teach” language.
2. Teacher made. The teacher can make the rubric. Usually the teacher uses a premade rubric that they modify for their classroom. Rubistar is a popular site for finding these rubrics and making them online.
Here is a handy template that I’ve got a lot of mileage from. A nice way to make a rubric, alone or with students! For more on rubrics or more assessment ideas – see our assessment resources. Also this page too, has many links.