What We Know Now


A rubric is a stan­dard of per­for­mance for a defined pop­u­la­tion. A rubric con­tains a set of cri­te­ria typ­i­cally linked to learn­ing objec­tives. Rubrics are used to assess or com­mu­ni­cate about prod­uct, per­for­mance, or process tasks.


A rubric com­mu­ni­cates expec­ta­tions of qual­ity around a task. The com­plex and some­times sub­jec­tive cri­te­ria are trans­par­ent and allow for teach­ers and stu­dents to read­ily eval­u­ate work. Rubrics can also pro­vide a plat­form for self-​evaluation, reflec­tion, and peer review. The pur­pose is to cre­ate an accu­rate and fair assess­ment that fos­ters under­stand­ing and indi­cates a way to pro­ceed with for­ma­tive and sum­ma­tive assessments.

Considerations or Implications:

  • Rubrics can be cre­ated in a vari­ety of forms and lev­els of com­plex­ity; how­ever, they all con­tain the fol­low­ing features:
  • Focus on mea­sur­ing a stated objec­tive (per­for­mance, behav­ior, or quality)
  • Use a range to rate performance
  • Con­tain spe­cific per­for­mance char­ac­ter­is­tics arranged in lev­els indi­cat­ing the degree to which a stan­dard has been met
  • Are writ­ten in lan­guage that stu­dents can understand
  • Define and describe qual­ity work
  • Refer to com­mon weak­nesses in a stu­dents’ work
  • Can be used by stu­dents to assess their works-​in-​progress and thereby guide revi­sion and improvement

With the upcom­ing focus on per­son­al­ized stu­dent learn­ing, rubrics will prob­a­bly become more pop­u­lar with teach­ers as a means of com­mu­ni­cat­ing expec­ta­tions for an assign­ment, pro­vid­ing focused feed­back on works in progress, and grad­ing stu­dent work.


Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Assess­ment

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