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A rubric is an assessment that outlines criteria on a scale of standards from very low-level performance to mastery performance.  Used for either self-assessment and improvement or for scoring and grading, a rubric focuses student attention on the expectations of an assignment explicitly stated in performance criteria and standards. When used for grading, rubrics promote consistency.

All About Rubrics:

  • Understanding Rubrics by Heidi Goodrich Andrade answers the foundational questions – what is a rubric?  Why use rubrics? How do you create a rubric?
  • The Teaching, Learning and Technology Group is a Maryland nonprofit that offers useful information on rubrics.
  • Honolulu Community College offers this web document with many off-site links.
  • Educational Leadership, a journal of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (K-12 but with vast application to higher education) published Using Rubrics to Promote Thinking and Learning in 2000.
  • Carnegie Mellon’s webpage “Rubrics – Enhancing Education” discusses the advantages of using rubrics and provides several examples for different types of assignments.

Creating Rubrics:

A variety of web tools are available for rubric creation from scratch; the initial effort is likely to be time-consuming because it forces teacher reflection about specific wanted behaviors.  Prep time will get shorter as you gain experience; in search engines, you can locate and then modify already-created rubrics for almost anything: from cooperation in a group assignment, to a philosophy research paper, to the quality of discussion-thread contributions in an online course. Examples:

  • Multimedia Project rubric
  • Class participation rubric
  • Rubric for assessing discussion in an online class.
  • Rubric examples from Stylus Publishing

There are a variety of tools and resources available to assist in the creation of rubrics.

  • Northern Arizona University’s webpage “Assessment Techniques and Measures” offers a list of rubric banks and rubric generating tools.
  • Rubistar is a simple tool for rubric creation.
  • iRubric is a comprehensive rubric development, assessment, and sharing tool. Designed from the ground up, iRubric supports a variety of applications in an easy-to-use package. Best of all, iRubric is free to individual faculty and students. iRubric School-Edition empowers schools with an easy-to-use system for monitoring student learning outcomes and aligning with standards. Rubric scores are automatically adjusted to the coursework grading scale and posted on the gradebook. All you have to do next is to press [save]. Students get a copy of the scored rubric securely... no more paperwork, calculations and confusion. 
  • AACU’s Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education, rubrics developed for general education assessment