Before developing your rubric, consider the assessment you are creating the rubric for. Ask yourself:
- Is my assessment developed completely?
- What are the course and module objectives aligned with the assessment?
- What will student work look like?
The answers to these questions will help guide the development of your rubric components. As you build, regularly return to these questions and answers to help guide you. Already built a rubric and looking to improve? Check out our Tips & Tricks for Creating Rubrics.
There are three important components contained within each rubric: criteria, level of performance, and descriptors. Each component will take dedicated time to consider and develop. After identifying the assessment you want to develop a rubric for, dig into each area of rubric development below:
Criteria identify a trait, feature, or dimension that will be measured. Most rubrics contain multiple criteria with clear definitions to clarify the meaning of the trait being assessed. For example, a term paper rubric might contain multiple criteria analyzing the introduction, thesis, analysis, grammar and punctuation, citations, and references.
To begin identifying criteria, start a list of the knowledge and skills you need to assess. Focus closely on the objectives that are aligned to the assignment. You might find that there are quite a few criteria you want to consider, but your objectives can help to narrow that list.
Once a list of criteria is identified, group the knowledge and skills according to similarities. For example, if you are assessing a research paper you might want to consider spelling, punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure. These criteria could be grouped together under a catch-all category like “Grammar and Mechanics.”
You’ll want to keep the number of criteria manageable. We recommend around 4-7 criteria total.
In this example, students are asked to bake a 3-layer cake with two complementary flavors for an adult’s birthday party. In order to assess their cake, a list of criteria is created:
From there, the long list of criteria is compared to the objectives aligned to the assessment. Extraneous criteria are removed and criteria are grouped:
Rubrics are a powerful too as they can be used to motivate students to assess their own work, used as a personal goal setting guide, and used as a revision and feedback tool. Rubrics are flexible and can be implemented during self-review, peer-review, drafting, and goal setting assignments in your course.
After developing your rubric, utilize the power of your Learning Management System to connect your rubric to your online assessments and speed up your grading process: