ELT Professors’ Perspectives on the Use of E-rubrics in an Academic Writing Class in a University in the UAE

  • Rana Raddawi
  • Neslihan Bilikozen


The use of rubrics for writing assessment in higher education has been a controversial issue with studies showing both positive and sceptical responses to their use by university professors. With the integration of educational technology into the writing classroom, interest in electronic rubrics (e-rubrics) created through virtual course management systems such as Blackboard has increased in the past few years. This increase is due to some potential advantages these platforms present, particularly the ease of grading and provision of online feedback. Informed by an interpretive research framework, this exploratory case study investigates the perspectives of 21 English Language Teaching (ELT) professors who were asked to use e-rubrics in their assessment of academic essays produced by diverse undergraduates enrolled in a series of required academic writing courses at an American University in the United Arab Emirates. The professors’ perspectives on the usefulness of e-rubrics in assessment and feedback were investigated through a survey and semi-structured interviews conducted with three volunteers, identified through the survey. Results reveal that while the majority of participants agreed that e-rubrics helped them in providing effective feedback and saving time and energy, some had doubts as to the effects of these e-rubrics in enhancing students’ writing skills.


ELT University professors Academic writing E-rubrics Assessment United Arab Emirates 



The authors thank The American University of Sharjah for providing the necessary resources to complete this study. Many thanks also go to the participants who contributed to the completion of this study and research assistant Vishnu Narayanan who helped with the data collection.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rana Raddawi
    • 1
  • Neslihan Bilikozen
    • 1
  1. 1.American University of SharjahSharjahUAE

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