Pace University students looking at their laptop computers

A rubric is a grading tool that lays out the specific expectations of a given assignment. It contains the performance criteria where the assignment is broken down into individual grading components. The criteria are then judged against a performance scale of 3-5 performance levels. These levels can be as simple as “Poor”, “Good”, “Excellent” or can be grades A through F. Each level requires a description of what must be accomplished to achieve the level. Clear guidance should be included as to what is expected.

Benefits of using a rubric.

  • Support student learning – students can self-evaluate their work and clearly see if they are meeting assignments’ expectations.
  • More efficient at grading – Reduces the amount of time it takes to grade as the general feedback to students and the scores are already built into the rubric. This allows you to give more robust feedback to the students. In addition, having a rubric reduces subjectivity and improves consistency between student grades because the instructor has a clear set of guidelines that a student either meets or does not meet.
  • Why should I use rubrics? Provide clear expectations for the students by defining criteria. They also present the requirements for each level of achievement. Students can evaluate their own work with the use of rubrics.

When writing rubrics it is important to keep your course goals and student learning objectives in mind. You want to align your assignments to the student learning objectives which are aligned with the course goals.