Creating and Using Rubrics

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Creating and Using a Rubric as a Tool for Assessment

Rubrics are reserved for assessments requiring complex, novel creation of new products or performances, or assessments requiring the learner to solve a new problem or to reveal a new understanding. Rubrics should only describe levels of quality of the product, performance, solution, or understanding. Key things to remember about rubrics include:

  • Rubrics should only identify the most important aspects or traits of the expected results (called domains)

  • Scoring criteria should be written as empirical (not comparative) descriptors and use positive language that identifies what the student work includes, not what is missing or does not do

  • Scoring criteria should include an even number of performance levels (e.g., 1-4 or 1-6).

  • “At-standard” or very good work should be in the level that is one past the mid-line on the rubric and the criteria must be clearly described; the remaining criteria performance level descriptions are optional

  • Rubrics should not build in ways to get a grade without the quality of work determined

Example Rubrics from the Association of American Colleges and Universities:

     Critical Thinking
     Ethical Reasoning
     Inquiry and Analysis
     Lifelong Learning
     Problem Solving
     Written Communication