A rubric is a systematic scoring guideline to evaluate students’ performance (papers, speeches, problem solutions, portfolios, cases) using a detailed description of performance standards. When students are made aware of the rubrics prior to instruction and assessment, they know the level of performance expected and they are more motivated to reach those standards. Rubrics provide both a grade (summative evaluation) and detailed feedback to improve future performance (formative evaluation).
Parts of a rubric
Rubrics are generally comprised of four essential parts.
Types of rubrics
Rubrics can be holistic or analytic, general or task specific. [more]
- General holistic rubric for an oral presentation
- General holistic rubric for a critical thinking exercise
- General analytic rubric for a writing assignment
- Task holistic rubric for a case study
- Task analytic rubric for a research article
- Task analytic rubric for a case study
Decide to either select a predesigned rubric or create a new one. [more]
Guidelines for using a rubric
For optimal results when using a rubric to grade student work, it is important that the rubric is properly administered and graded. [more]
- Getting consistent scores across all students
- Allowing students to be more aware of the expectations for performance and consequently improve their performance
- Creates objectivity and consistency
- Clarifies grading criteria in specific terms
- Shows how work will be evaluated and expectations
- Promote student awareness and provide benchmarks
- Creating effective rubrics is time-consuming
- Cannot measure all aspects of student learning
- Students may ask for individual feedback after receiving their score.
Andrade, H. G. (1997). Understanding rubrics. Educational Leadership, 54(4).
Arter, J. (2000). Rubrics, scoring guides, and performance criteria: Classroom tools for assessing and improving student learning. Paper presented at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, 2000.
Holistic critical thinking scoring rubric. Retrieved May 3, 2004 from California Academic Press Web site: http://www.uog.edu/coe/ed451/tHEORY/HolisticCTrubric.pdf
Nitko, A. J. (1996). Educational assessment of students, 2nd ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Taggart, G. L., Phifer, S. J., Nixon, J. A., & Wood, M. (Eds.) (n.d.). Rubrics: Handbook for construction and use. Lancaster, PA: Technomic Publishing Co.
Tips for choosing rubrics. (2000). Retrieved July 19, 2006 from http://www.sites4teachers.com/links/redirect.php?url=http://intranet.cps.k12.il.us/Assessments/Ideas_and_Rubrics/Rubric_Bank/Choosing_Rubrics/choosing_rubrics.html
Wiggins, G. (1998). Educative assessment: Designing assessments to inform and improve student performance. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
Zimmaro, D. M. (2004). Developing grading rubrics. Retrieved July 20, 2005 from the University of Texas at Austin, Center for Teaching and Learning Web site: http://www.utexas.edu/academic/mec/research/pdf/rubricshandout.pdf. (includes examples)