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Using Rubrics

Help your students understand how you will grade their work by using rubrics.

What Is a Rubric?

A grading rubric lists the criteria you will use to evaluate a particular assignment, and it includes performance levels for each criterion. Designing a rubric allows you to ruminate on the components of an assignment, clarify student learning outcomes for instructional planning, and to identify expectations for quality. Rubrics also provide a much needed method for consistent and accurate grading.

Looking at a rubric example, you can see that it includes the assignment’s title, description (the same one provided in the syllabus), and total point value, along with a place for open-ended comments. The scoring portion lists the evaluation criterion, performance quality levels, and descriptions differentiating the performance qualities for each criterion.

Rubric Levels

It is important that your rubric accurately differentiates between performance levels. Effective levels may look like:

  • A – Level (Outstanding)
  • B – Level (Proficient)
  • C – Level (Developing)

If your course requires high academic standards, you would use B-level performance for academic work that you believe “meets expectations” or is “good.” In this scenario, B-level performance reflects standard competence. In contrast, A-level performance would describe qualities beyond expectations, and C-level performance would describe qualities just below expectations. Keep in mind these grading descriptions are just guidelines for consideration.

Learn More

For more information, see our rubrics, syllabi, and more.