Step 4: Develop Assessment Criteria and Rubrics (2023)

Just as we align assessments with the course learning objectives, we also align the grading criteria for each assessment with the goals of that unit of content or practice, especially for assignments than cannot be graded through automation the way that multiple-choice tests can. Grading criteriaarticulate what is important in each assessment, what knowledge or skills students should be able to demonstrate, and how they can best communicate that to you. When you share grading criteria with students, you help them understand what to focus on and how to demonstrate their learning successfully. From good assessment criteria, you can develop a grading rubric.

Develop Your Assessment Criteria | Decide on a Rating Scale | Create the Rubric

Developing Your Assessment Criteria

Good assessment criteria are

(Video) Step 4: Direct Assessment and Rubric Design

  • Clear and easy to understand as a guide for students
  • Attainable rather than beyond students’ grasp in the current place in the course
  • Significant in terms of the learning students should demonstrate
  • Relevant in that they assess student learning toward course objectives related to that one assessment.

To create your grading criteria, consider the following questions:

  • What is the most significant content or knowledge students should be able to demonstrate understanding of at this point in the course?
  • What specific skills, techniques, or applications should students be able to use to demonstrate using at this point in the course?
  • What secondary skills or practices are important for students to demonstrate in this assessment? (for example, critical thinking, public speaking skills, or writing as well as more abstract concepts such as completeness, creativity, precision, or problem-solving abilities)
  • Do the criteria align with the objectives for both the assessment and the course?

Once you have developed some ideas about the assessment’s grading criteria, double-check to make sure the criteria are observable, measurable, significant, and distinct from each other.

Assessment Criteria Example
Using the questions above, the performance criteria in the example below were designed for an assignment in which students had to create an explainer video about a scientific concept for a specified audience. Each elements can be observed and measured based on both expert instructor and peer feedback, and each is significant because it relates to the course and assignment learning goals.

Step 4: Develop Assessment Criteria and Rubrics (1)

Additional Assessment Criteria Resources
Developing Grading Criteria (Vanderbilt University)

Creating Grading Criteria (Brown University)
Sample Criteria (Brown University)

Developing Grading Criteria (Temple University)

Decide on a Rating Scale

Deciding what scale you will use for an assessment depends on the type of learning you want students to demonstrate and the type of feedback you want to give students on this particular assignment or test. For example, for an introductory lab report early in the semester, you might not be as concerned with advanced levels of precision as much as correct displays of data and the tone of the report; therefore, grading heavily on copy editing or advanced analysis would not be appropriate. The criteria would likely more rigorous by the end of the semester, as you build up to the advanced level you want students to reach in the course.

Rating scales turn the grading criteria you have defined into levels of performance expectations for the students that can then be interpreted as a letter, number, or level. Common rating scales include

(Video) RUBRIC for Assessment |Simple Guide | Learn with Teacher Jhenn

  • A, B, C, etc. (without or without + and -)
  • 100 point scale with defined cut-off for a letter grade if desired (ex. a B = 89-80; or a B+ = 89-87, B = 86-83, B- = 82-80)
  • Yes or no, present or not present (if the rubric is a checklist of items students must show)
  • A three or five category holistic scale, such as
    • below expectations, meets expectations, exceeds expectations
    • not demonstrated, poor, average, good, excellent

Once you have decided on a scale for the type of assignment and the learning you want students to demonstrate, you can use the scale to clearly articulate what each level of performance looks like, such as defining what A, B, C, etc. level work would look like for each grading criteria. What would distinguish a student who earns a B from one who earns a C? What would distinguish a student who excelled in demonstrating use of a tool from a student who clearly was not familiar with it? Write these distinctions out in descriptive notes or brief paragraphs.

Ethical Implications of Rating Scales
There are ethical implications in each of these types of rating skills. On a project worth 100 points, what is the objective difference between earning an 85 or and 87? On an exceeds/meets/does not meet scale, how can those levels be objectively applied? Different understandings of "fairness" can lead to several ways of grading that might disadvantage some students.Learn more about equitable grading practices here.

Create the Rubric

Rubrics Can Make Grading More Effective

  • Provide students with more complete and targeted feedback
  • Make grading more timely by enabling the provision of feedback soon after assignment is submitted/presented.
  • Standardize assessment criteria among those assigning/assessing the same assignment.
  • Facilitate peer evaluation of early drafts of assignment.

Rubrics Can Help Student Learning

  • Convey your expectations about the assignment through a classroom discussion of the rubric prior to the beginning of the assignment
  • Level the playing field by clarifying academic expectations and assignments so that all students understand regardless of their educational backgrounds.(e.g. define what we expect analysis, critical thinking, or even introductions/conclusions should include)
  • Promote student independence and motivation by enabling self-assessment
  • Prepare students to use detailed feedback.

Rubrics Have Other Uses:

  • Track development of student skills over several assignments
  • Facilitate communication with others (e.g. TAs, communication center, tutors, other faculty, etc)
  • Refine own teaching skills (e.g. by responding to common areas of weaknesses, feedback on how well teaching strategies are working in preparing students for their assignments).

In this video, CTL's Dr. Carol Subino Sullivan discusses the value of the different types of rubrics.

Many non-test-based assessments might seem daunting to grade, but a well-designed rubric can alleviate some of that work. A rubric is a table that usually has these parts:

(Video) Rubrics for Assessment

  1. a clear description of the learning activity being assessed
  2. criteria by which the activity will be evaluated
  3. a rating scale identifying different levels of performance
  4. descriptions of the level of performance a student must reach to earn that level.

When you define the criteria and pre-define what acceptable performance for each of those criteria looks like ahead of time, you can use the rubric to compare with student work and assign grades or points for each criteria accordingly. Rubrics work very well for projects, papers/reports, and presentations, as well as in peer review, and good rubrics can save instructors and TAs time when grading.

Sample Rubrics
Thisfinal rubric for the scientific concept explainer video combines the assessment criteria and the holistic rating scale:

Step 4: Develop Assessment Criteria and Rubrics (2)

When using this rubric, which can be easily adapted to use a present/not present rating scale or a letter grade scale, you can use a combination of checking items off and adding written (or audio/video) comments in the different boxes to provide the student more detailed feedback.

As a second example, this descriptive rubric was used to ask students to peer assess and self-assess their contributions to a collaborative project. The rating scale is 1 through 4, and each description of performance builds on the previous. (See the full rubric with scales for both product and process here. This rubric was designed for students working in teams to assess their own contributions to the project as well as their peers.)

Step 4: Develop Assessment Criteria and Rubrics (3)

Building a Rubric in Canvas Assignments
You can create rubrics for assignments and discussions boards in Canvas. Review these Canvas guides for tips and tricks.
Rubrics Overview for Instructors
What are rubrics?
How do I align a rubric with a learning outcome?
How do I add a rubric to an assignment?
How do I add a rubric to a quiz?
How do I add a rubric to a graded discussion?
How do I use a rubric to grade submissions in SpeedGrader?
How do I manage rubrics in a course?

(Video) How to Create Rubrics for Assignments

Additional Resources for Developing Rubrics
Designing Grading Rubrics(Brown University)
Step-by-step process for creating an effective, fair, and efficientgrading rubric.

Creating and Using Rubrics(Carnegie Mellon University)
Explores the basics of rubric design along with multiple examples for grading different types of assignments.

Using Rubrics(Cornell University)
Argument for the value of rubrics to support student learning.

Rubrics(University of CaliforniaBerkeley)
Shares "fun facts" about rubrics, and links therubric guidelines from many higher ed organizations such as the AAC&U.

Creating and Using Rubrics(Yale University)
Introduces different styles of rubrics and ways to decide what style to use given your course'slearning goals.

Best Practices for Designing Effective Resources(Arizona State University)
Comprehensive overview of rubric design principles.

Return to Main Menu | Return to Step 3 | Go to Step 5 Determine Feedback Strategy

(Video) 7 Steps for Creating Rubrics


What are the 4 levels of rubrics? ›

Types of Rubrics
  • Analytic Rubrics.
  • Developmental Rubrics.
  • Holistic Rubrics.
  • Checklists.

How do you develop and use rubrics for performance assessment? ›

Developing a Grading Rubric
  • List criteria. Begin by brainstorming a list of all criteria, traits or dimensions associated task. ...
  • Write criteria descriptions. Keep criteria descriptions brief, understandable, and in a logical order for students to follow as they work on the task.
  • Determine level of performance adjectives.

How do you develop assessment criteria? ›

Follow these 10 steps for writing effective assessment criteria:
  1. Review learning outcomes and assessment tasks. ...
  2. Distinguish the difference between “criteria” and “standards” ...
  3. Refer to relevant resources. ...
  4. List, describe, curate and organize criteria. ...
  5. Create a marking scheme. ...
  6. Label the verbal descriptors of standards.

What is a rubric assessment criteria? ›

A rubric for assessment, usually in the form of a matrix or grid, is a tool used to interpret and mark students' work against criteria and standards. Rubrics are sometimes called "criteria sheets", "grading schemes", or "scoring guides". Rubrics can be designed for any content domain.

What are the 4 types of assessments? ›

A Guide to Types of Assessment: Diagnostic, Formative, Interim, and Summative.

What is a rubric example? ›

Heidi Goodrich Andrade, a rubrics expert, defines a rubric as "a scoring tool that lists the criteria for a piece of work or 'what counts. ' " For example, a rubric for an essay might tell students that their work will be judged on purpose, organization, details, voice, and mechanics.

What are 5 examples of performance assessment? ›

Examples of performance assessments include composing a few sentences in an open-ended short response, developing a thorough analysis in an essay, conducting a laboratory investigation, curating a portfolio of student work, and completing an original research paper.

What are the 5 basic steps in developing rubrics? ›

Guidelines for Developing Rubrics
  • Step 1 - Identify the purpose and aims of assessing students. ...
  • Step 2 - Identify what to assess. ...
  • Step 3 - Select an appropriate type of rubric. ...
  • Step 4 - Identify the performance criteria for assessing student work. ...
  • Step 5 - Identify the levels of performance.

How do teachers develop rubrics? ›

How to Create a Grading Rubric 1
  • Define the purpose of the assignment/assessment for which you are creating a rubric. ...
  • Decide what kind of rubric you will use: a holistic rubric or an analytic rubric? ...
  • Define the criteria. ...
  • Design the rating scale. ...
  • Write descriptions for each level of the rating scale. ...
  • Create your rubric.

What is the difference between rubric and criteria? ›

A rubric provides a set of criteria that outlines the important components of the activity being planned or evaluated. Rubrics help clarify the criteria and expectations for the assignment.

What is the difference between assessment criteria and rubric? ›

A marking rubric contains descriptors of the standards for a number of criteria, usually in the form of a grid or matrix. Criteria are the properties or characteristics by which to judge the quality of the assessment task. The criteria do not offer anything, or make any assumptions about, actual quality.

What are the 3 criteria rubric? ›

A rubric is a scoring guide used to evaluate performance, a product, or a project. It has three parts: 1) performance criteria; 2) rating scale; and 3) indicators.

What are rubrics and criteria for success? ›

Rubrics are often designed in ways that tell students what they are not doing well, and as such are (more often than not) deficits-based. Success criteria are primarily designed to capture what learning looks like when a student has reached proficiency.

What is the purpose of a rubric in assessment? ›

Rubrics are multidimensional sets of scoring guidelines that can be used to provide consistency in evaluating student work. They spell out scoring criteria so that multiple teachers, using the same rubric for a student's essay, for example, would arrive at the same score or grade.

What is the example of assessment? ›

Examinations, finals, quizzes, and graded papers are examples of summative assessments that test student knowledge of a given topic or subject. These graded assessments and assignments are often high stakes and are geared towards testing students.

What are the 4 important concepts in assessment? ›

The principles of assessment are that assessment is Valid, Authentic, Current, Sufficient and Reliable – known as VACSR.

What is a rubric answer? ›

A rubric is a type of scoring guide that assesses and articulates specific components and expectations for an assignment. Rubrics can be used for a variety of assignments: research papers, group projects, portfolios, and presentations.

What are rubric questions? ›

Questions to ask when evaluating a rubric include:
  • Does the rubric relate to the outcome(s) being measured? ...
  • Does it cover important criteria for student performance? ...
  • Does the top end of the rubric reflect excellence? ...
  • Are the criteria and scales well-defined? ...
  • Can the rubric be applied consistently by different scorers?

How do you complete a rubric? ›

Grading Rubrics: Steps in the Process
  1. Think through your learning objectives. ...
  2. Decide what kind of scale you will use. ...
  3. Describe the characteristics of student work at each point on your scale. ...
  4. Test your rubric on student work. ...
  5. Use your rubric to give constructive feedback to students.

How do I write my own performance assessment? ›

How to write a performance self-evaluation
  1. Make a list of your positive attributes. To write a self-performance review, first determine where you are in your professional career. ...
  2. Reflect on your accomplishments. ...
  3. Reflect on your mistakes. ...
  4. Close with opportunities to grow.
Mar 16, 2023

How do you write a good performance assessment? ›

10 tips for how to write a performance review
  1. Set expectations and goals from the start. ...
  2. Gather relevant information. ...
  3. Make the time. ...
  4. Keep the review objective. ...
  5. Use a coaching mindset. ...
  6. Use language carefully. ...
  7. Include the positive. ...
  8. Share constructive criticism.
Aug 3, 2021

How do you answer a performance assessment? ›

Tips for answering questions during a performance review
  1. Use natural responses. ...
  2. Review yourself first. ...
  3. Know your achievements. ...
  4. Take a moment. ...
  5. Have solutions ready. ...
  6. Ask your own questions. ...
  7. Request a review summary. ...
  8. What is your proudest accomplishment from the past year?
Dec 27, 2022

What is a basic 4 point writing rubric? ›

The four-point rubric uses four potential points the student can earn for each area, such as 1) strong, 2) developing, 3) emerging, and 4) beginning. To turn your rubric score into a letter grade, divide the points earned by the points possible.

What are the two types of rubrics? ›

There are two types of rubrics and of methods for evaluating students' efforts: holistic and analytic rubrics.

What is rubric method of teaching? ›

What is a rubric? A rubric is an assessment tool that clearly indicates achievement criteria across all the components of any kind of student work, from written to oral to visual. It can be used for marking assignments, class participation, or overall grades. There are two types of rubrics: holistic and analytical.

What is rubric assessment of teaching performance? ›

A rubric is a scoring tool that explicitly describes the instructor's performance expectations for an assignment or piece of work. A rubric identifies: criteria: the aspects of performance (e.g., argument, evidence, clarity) that will be assessed.

What is level of performance in rubrics? ›

Levels of performance are typically divided into three- to six-point scales and given labels such as basic-proficient- advanced; needs improvement-meets expectations-exceeds expectations; or seldom- sometimes-usually-often; poor-good-excellent-superior; beginning-basic-proficient- advanced-outstanding.

How many criteria should a rubric have? ›

The number of criteria varies widely depending on the rubric and its purpose. Three, four, and five are the most common number of levels. While most of the rubrics are descriptive—the type of rubrics generally expected to be most useful for learning—many are not.

What are the two main components of rubrics? ›

As in the above example, a rubric is comprised of two components: criteria and levels of performance. Each rubric has at least two criteria and at least two levels of performance.

What are the 5 assessment criteria? ›

How is my work assessed? Your work will now be marked against five different criteria: enquiry, knowledge, process, communication and realisation, which are explained in the above film.

What is an example of an assessment criterion? ›

Criterion-referenced assessment examples include driving tests, end-of-unit exams in school, clinical skill competency tools, etc.

What is assessment criteria in teaching? ›

Assessment criteria provide students with information about the qualities, characteristics and aspects of an assessment task that will be used to measure their attainment of each of the learning outcomes. Criteria make it clear to students what factors will be taken into account when making judgements about their ...

What is assessment criterion or criteria? ›

Definition(s): A rule (or rules) of logic to allow the automated or manual detection of defects. Typically, the assessment criterion in ISCM defines what in the desired state specification is compared to what in the actual state and the conditions that indicate a defect.

What are 3 criteria of good assessment? ›

Reliable: assessment is accurate, consistent and repeatable. Feasible: assessment is practicable in terms of time, resources and student numbers. Educational impact: assessment results in learning what is important and is authentic and worthwhile.

What are 5 features of a highly effective rubric? ›

Here is a list of characteristics to strive for to create a purposeful rubric.
  • Criteria. An effective rubric must possess a specific list of criteria, so students know exactly what the teacher is expecting.
  • Gradations. ...
  • Descriptions. ...
  • Continuity. ...
  • Reliability. ...
  • Validity. ...
  • Models.

What is a good success criteria examples? ›

Project success criteria examples are as follows: The project is completed on time. The project is completed within the given amount of budget. The project fulfills all the scope given beforehand.

How do you write a success criteria example? ›

7 project success criteria examples
  • Cost. This factor measures the total cost of the project against the expected budget that stakeholders establish at the beginning of a project. ...
  • Timeline. ...
  • Scope. ...
  • Deliverables. ...
  • Resource capacity. ...
  • Business goals. ...
  • Stakeholder satisfaction.
Mar 10, 2023

What is the importance of rubric and criteria? ›

Rubrics give students a greater chance of achieving a clear and defined target. They guide curriculum planning and uphold accurate assessments with integrity. Effective rubrics enable self-assessment and self-directed student learning.

What is the benefit of a rubric? ›

Rubrics standardize grades and help students understand where their writing grades come from. They also facilitate minimal marking, since you've already established your priorities.

What are the benefits of rubrics? ›

Rubrics can reduce time spent grading by allowing instructors to refer to a substantive description without writing long comments. Rubrics can help instructors more clearly identify strengths and weaknesses across an entire class and adjust their instruction appropriately. Rubrics can be impartial.

What are the different types of rubrics? ›

There are two types of rubrics and of methods for evaluating students' efforts: holistic and analytic rubrics.

What are the 4 C's assessment? ›

The 4Cs - Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity - support and integrate assessment strategies into teaching and learning systems.

What are the 4 areas of creativity that are assessed on a rubric? ›

The rubric describes four levels of creativity—very creative, creative, ordinary/routine, and imitative—in four different areas—variety of ideas, variety of sources, novelty of idea combinations, and novelty of communication.

How do you use rubrics for assessment? ›

How to make a rubric
  1. Decide what criteria or essential elements must be present in the student's work to ensure that it is high in quality. ...
  2. Decide how many levels of achievement you will include on the rubric and how they will relate to your institution's definition of grades as well as your own grading scheme.

What is principle 4 of assessment? ›

Principle 4: Facilitating Learning and Improving Standards. Assessment tasks and feedback given should facilitate learning and improve standards.

What are the 4Cs of acceptance criteria? ›

There are several characteristics to consider when creating high quality requirements, and I like to refer to them as the 4 C's: complete, correct, concise, and confirmable.

How do you write a simple rubric? ›

How to Create a Grading Rubric 1
  1. Define the purpose of the assignment/assessment for which you are creating a rubric. ...
  2. Decide what kind of rubric you will use: a holistic rubric or an analytic rubric? ...
  3. Define the criteria. ...
  4. Design the rating scale. ...
  5. Write descriptions for each level of the rating scale. ...
  6. Create your rubric.

Why do we use 4 point rubrics? ›

Grades are more useful and meaningful: ​When students get clear grades and feedback on a four point scale, they can monitor their progress and set goals for their learning. Teachers can also provide more specific feedback on how to improve from a “3” to a “4”, using the rubric.

What is rubric for success criteria? ›

Success criteria show the kinds of evidence that a teacher or student can look for to see if learning is taking place. Rubrics are primarily designed to indicate the degree of quality that will be required to achieve a certain score on an assignment.


2. Crafting Rubrics for Assessment in 5 Easy Steps
(Centre for Development of Academic Excellence USM)
3. Cut Your Grading Time in Half with Automated Rubrics
(Evgenii Permiakov)
4. Rubrics - Create a Holistic Rubric - Instructor
(Brightspace Tutorials)
5. Process in Developing and Using Rubric for Alternative Assessment.
(Donald Clarke Ellazar)
6. Assessment Academy #2 - Rubric Design and Use


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