Designing and Using Rubrics

Why use a rubric?

  1. Clarifies content and objectives.
    1. Students understand what they must do or learn in order to achieve a satisfactory grade.
  2. Encourages students to self-monitor.
    1. Students assume responsibility for the quality and quality of their work.
  3. Allows the grading process to be clearer.
    1. Student learning has been specified and therefore easier to measure.

Developing a rubric

  1. What to do what your students to accomplish through this assignment?
    1. Create a list of these objectives.
    2. Group similar objectives in categories or themes. (For example, quality of content and synthesis of information may be categorized as "critical thinking".)
  2. What is it worth?
    1. Decide the overall point value for the assignment.
    2. Organize the identified criteria from most important to least important. (for example, a biology professor may decide that while grammar and other surface features are important and should be counted, he does not need to weigh it as heavily as he may weigh the analysis criteria.)
    3. Decide how you will calculate a grade.
  3. What scale will I use?
    1. Decide how many levels of ability you will identify in your grading. Personally, I prefer a four or six level scale.
    2. List characteristics that describe each objective. Identify ways to describe above expectation, meets expectation, and below expectation. (See examples attached.) Criteria like "clear," "organized," and "interesting" don't mean much to students when they sit down to revise.

Using a rubric

  • Distribute rubric to students when you assign the paper or project.
  • Teach students how to us the rubric.
  • Collect their paper or project after they have assessed their work. It is very useful to ask students to write about the quality of their work. Decide what you will do if a student realizes that he or she did not meet the requirements while writing this assessment.

Page last modified October 21, 2010