The better our rubrics, the faster we can provide constructive feedback. Whether you’ve got senior students knocking down your door with practice essays, or junior students knocking out drafts, a quick turnaround in the feedback process makes all the difference.┬áThe more effort we put into making the statements on our rubrics concrete, the less burden there is on our written comments to do all the work in explaining what students are or aren’t doing and need to do next and the faster we can do our marking. One way to make the statements on our rubrics more concrete is to focus on the verbs we use to describe what students do in their writing. Using verbs from Bloom’s taxonomy can help in this process. Pictured below and able to be download from here (Text Response Essay Rubric) is a copy of our VCE English exam text response rubric. We’ve been working on this for a while and focusing on using verbs like the ones below to develop concrete statements about what is happening in writing at a high, medium or low levels:

High Interprets, discusses, challenges, elaborates
Medium Explains, responds to one part, identifies
Low Summarises, lists, recounts



You can easily find lists of Bloom’s verbs on the web after a quick search. Here’s one we like: