What is a Rubric?
A rubric is a scoring guide that uses a range of performance criteria to evaluate students’ work. A rubric clearly specifies what requirements are being evaluated, and what quality of work is expected for excellent, good, fair or poor performance of each requirement. Instead of using the words excellent, good, fair and poor, some teachers prefer to use descriptive phrases such as exemplary, accomplished, developing and beginning.
Rubrics should be given out to the students along with the instructions at the beginning of the assignment. The rubric clearly indicates what is expected of them, so students understand the requirements and they can use it as a guide when completing the assignment.
How to Create and Use an Assessment Rubric
When creating a rubric, first decide what criteria you would like to assess. Then determine what qualities of work are excellent, good, fair and poor for each criterion. You can assign points for each level in order to make to grading more quantitative, such as awarding 4 points for excellent, 3 for good, 2 for fair and 1 for poor.
For example, if the assignment is to create a poster with information about a volcano, the requirements for the poster might include: the volcano’s name, location, size, type (shield, cinder cone or composite), whether it is active, dormant or extinct, when it last erupted, two or more labeled photographs or drawings of the volcano, and any additional information the students can find such as history of eruptions. References such as books, magazines, encyclopedias or websites where the information was found must be cited with author, title, name of publication or website, and date published or accessed online. If the grade for this project is based on information, presentation and references, the rubric might look like this:
Excellent- all required information provided with many facts and details
Accomplished- most information provided, some details
Developing- some information provided, few details
Beginning- lacking almost all of the required information
Excellent- very neat, legible and well organized, includes several pictures or drawings with labels
Accomplished- fairly neat, legible, one or two pictures or drawings with labels
Developing- poorly organized, difficult to read, one picture or drawing with no label
Beginning- messy, illegible, no pictures or drawings
Excellent- Several references, all cited in correct format
Accomplished- One or two references, some with incomplete format
Developing- One reference with incomplete format
Beginning- No references
Rubrics are usually in the form of a grid or table. There are many websites that offer free rubric templates to simplify creating rubrics. These might be generic rubric templates, or specific rubrics for different subject areas. A few of the websites are listed below: