A rubric lets students know your specific expectations for assignments, listing the criteria to be judged and describing what the different levels of performance look like. Rubrics can be used on most any type of assignments — presentations, research papers, exams, group projects, etc.

Why use rubrics?

  • Time: rubrics focus your attention on the aspects you have decided are most critical for the learning outcome.
  • Fairness: using consistent criteria (instead of reference-- better and worse than-- judgments) helps ensure fair grading.
  • Clarity of expectations: specifying what different levels of achievement look like will help students judge their own work.
  • Effective feedback: breaking the grading criteria into smaller components makes feedback more effective since students will know exactly where to focus their attention.

Share rubrics with your students!

Share your expectations and the criteria you will use to evaluate your students work. Hand it out with the assignment and then again when the graded work is returned. Students are able to monitor and assess their learning and progress in your course with clear expectations that are given up front.

Getting Started with Rubrics:

  1. Try one of our rubrics, or check out all 16 of the AAC&U Rubrics (Intellectual & Practical Skills; Personal & Social Responsibility; or Integrative & Applied Learning), or ask your colleagues to share one of theirs from a similar assignment.
  2. Create Your Own Rubric:
    1. Choose a particular assignment from your course
    2. Consider which aspects of the assignment are the most important. Ideally, these are linked to (or are components of) the learning objectives for your course. These will be the categories for evaluation and can be listed on one axis.
    3. Decide on the levels of performance in each category. These can be listed on the other axis.
      1. Describe as precisely as possible what achieving each level looks like.
      2. Assign a numerical value to each level or descriptor.
  3. Revise the rubric based on feedback from students, colleagues, and your own experience.