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What is a rubric?

A rubric is a grading tool that provides specific expectations for assessments. Rubrics include assessment criteria, points possible, and requirements for achievement levels.  A variety of learning activities use rubrics such as discussion boards, essays, and presentations.  Students use rubrics to understand and meet the requirements of an assignment.

Why should I use rubrics?

Rubrics help students understand expectations for an assignment. Rubrics also help students track their assessment progress. As an instructor, you decrease subjective grading with rubrics. Benefits of using rubrics include the following:

  • Expectations are explicit
  • List required content and skills
  • Provide timely feedback
  • Reduce grading time
  • Measure student progress towards learning goals

“Rubrics are the most effective grading device since the invention of red ink.”

— Dannelle Stevens & Antonia Levi, Introduction to Rubrics

How I do create a rubric?

As you design and create rubrics, think of how you will guide students to complete an assignment.  This also helps students’ track their progress in the course. Consider what types of evidence you want to see to show student learning and progressing.

Start your rubric by listing specific characteristics you want in students’ work.  List all your criteria in the first column. Then begin detailing the proficient column for each row. The proficient column is what you expect from your students. Then complete the remaining columns and rows with each criteria and levels of achievement. We recommend you review and download AACU’s Value Rubrics. Consider using a checklist like this one to ensure the quality of your rubric.


How do I use rubrics in Blackboard?

Watch this short tutorial on building Blackboard rubrics.