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Wednesday, November 22, 2017


  • A rubric is a scoring tool developed to measure a student’s performance, achievement, or mastery on a given activity or assignment
  • A rubric
  • Provides the areas of performance to be evaluated
  • Gives the specific criteria used to evaluate each area
  • Assigns a point value to each
  • Uses a set of criteria to evaluate a student's performance
  • Consists of a fixed measurement scale and detailed description of the characteristics for each level of performance
  • Descriptions focus on the quality of the product or performance [not on quantity]
  • Increase the consistency and reliability of scoring
  • May be used to assess individuals or groups
  • Rubric scores may be compared over time


  • Effectively and efficiently assesses student learning
  • Communicates expectations directly, clearly and concisely to students
  • Used by students to see the progression of mastery in the development of understandings and skills


  • Structured as a Grid

Grid example provided below:

How to

  1. Identify the skills, knowledge and understandings that student must demonstrate [these become the criteria]
  2. Decide the number of levels above and below the acceptable minimum
  3. Develop Performance Descriptors to describe the Acceptable level
  4. Develop Performance Descriptors to describe the levels above & below Acceptable level
  5. Identify a point value for each level of performance

Writing Performance Descriptors

  • Writing Performance Descriptors for each criteria [Bloom's Taxonomy]
  • Refer to specific aspects of the performance which will be different at each level
    • e.g. identifies to describes to analyzes
  • Using adjectives, adjectival phrases, adverbs, adverbial phrases to make a qualitative difference across the levels
    • e.g. provides a complex explanation to provides a detailed explanation to provides a limited explanation
    • e.g. displays a comprehensive knowledge to displays a sound knowledge to shows a basic knowledge
  • Use numeric references to identify quantitative differences between levels
    • e.g. provides 5 examples to provides 3 examples to provides 1 example
    • e.g. Uses several strategies to uses some strategies to uses only a few or no apparent strategies

Some Tips

  • The best time to create a rubric is often AFTER you’ve read through a stack of papers or reviewed completed projects
  • Mentally and/or physically divide the papers into different standards, and then on your rubric, describe what papers are doing or not doing at each level
  • The complexity of the rubric should reflect the weight of the assignment. Use rubrics in relation to outcomes
  • Try to balance specificity in your descriptions with clarity and brevity
  • Use simple formats that can be understood by students
  • Make sure that the descriptors listed are distinct, easily understood, and observable
  • Ask students to help craft appropriate criteria that makes sense to them
  • Select labels that are appropriate for the level of achievement, but aren’t discouraging
  • Ensure that rubrics are dated to track progress over time
  • Leave space to record anecdotal notes or comments
  • Pilot your rubrics, get feedback, and don’t be afraid to revise along the way


Graphic Organizer Rubric (PDF)