Steps for Creating a Rubric

Begin with reviewing your learning outcomes to determine which are being assessed in the current work. Consider what you are asking student to demonstrate in their work. This will help identify the criteria and descriptions of performance for each level.

Generally, a good rubric will have 3-5 performance levels; distinct, meaningful labels for criteria; and performance level descriptions that are observable and measurable. Refining the rubric may involve applying various iterations till the rubric accurately assesses how and what you asked students to do.

Consider involving students in a rubric’s construction as this increases engagement and ownership of the learning and assessment process and may help avoid misunderstandings.

Step 1: determine the type of rubric to create

Step 2: determine the criteria

Step 3: describe the criteria

Step 4: determine performance levels and write appropriate descriptors

Step 5: create a rubric grid

Brightspace includes a rubrics tool that instructors use to create and use rubrics in their Brightspace course. CITL’s Technology Resources site has guides to advise you on how to set up and use the rubrics tool, and a list of FAQs.

Grading scale (level) options

Choosing a good list of words for the levels in a rubric can really help instructors and students as they use the rubric. Excellent, Good, Poor are often used to describe the levels, but there are many other options.

Grading scale (level) options

If you find that you often selected the middle level when assessing student work you can revise your rubric to make the levels, criteria or descriptions more specific.

Some rubrics call for the grader to highlight parts of descriptions in all levels to indicate areas that the work surpassed or came short of the desired outcome. They add or remove a point or half point to calculate the score for that criteria. This may be problematic with some rubrics set up in online learning management systems due to application restraints. The approach is not for everyone!

Once you’ve used your rubric you may have noted some aspects that need refinement. Its common to continually revise a rubric each offering or modify aspects of it for other purposes. Over time, you may have a suite of rubrics for various purposes; assessing student work in discussion forums, presentations, papers, visual assignments, various assignments, etc.

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Resource by Jane C. and Denise C.