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How to use a rubrics for assessment


Using a rubrics for assessment is one of the easiest most straightforward ways to mark a course. What is a rubrics? 

A rubrics is basically a scorecard that can be used for an evaluation. This could be the beginning, middle or end of a course or could comprise the total assessment. Read these guidelines and remember if you need any support give me a shout, I’m always happy to help.

Here’s some benefits of using a rubrics:

– easy for instructors

– provides ongoing feedback

– helps set targets for expectations

– aligns evaluation criteria to standards and course aims and objectives

– students know exactly why they got their mark

– students can take responsibility for their own learning

– can create the rubrics with the students so you end up with agreed upon objective criteria


Rubrics can be fun and completely self explanatory, however, you do need to put some serious thought into how you make your rubrics.


How to make a rubrics


You want to end up with something that gives a guideline on what the student needs to do to obtain their mark. A rubrics looks a bit like a scorecard. Check out this one below:


Rubric for grading oral presentation


Step 1: The criteria you use for your assessment should come directly from your course aims and objectives. What do you want the students to take away at the end of the course?

– use your course objectives to develop the criteria.

If one of your objectives is to show commitment towards learning about XXX (your subject) then you will want to assess on ‘commitment’.


Step 2: What do you expect of the students?

– are you giving feedback on the student’s behaviour?

– are you giving specific feedback on a set of tasks?


If you expect the students to have completed five sessions of homework then give them a point for each session of homework they have handed in. However, if you expect the students to have completed five homeworks and received good marks then you will have to include this in your rubrics.


Rubrics with the expectation of completing 5 homeworks


Rubrics with the expectation of completing 5 homeworks with a high percentage of correct answers



Step 3: How do you want to do the scoring? Mark, percentages, qualitative feedback?

Remember to always have your rubrics add up to a round number. This makes it easier to give your students a total mark.


Rubrics emphasising the need for students to be on time with a quantitative mark


Or, if you don’t want your rubrics to show a score in the form of a number then change the way you give feedback from quantitative to qualitative


Rubrics emphasising the need for students to be on time with a qualitative assessment


Remember to be clear on what you are assessing and not to assess more than one thing in each row – unless they are meant to be combined!


Here’s a rubrics designed to assess knowledge of wine growing areas

Objective: student has strong knowledge of Australian wine growing areas. Question will randomly ask FIVE areas:


Step 4: Run the rubrics past the students at the START of the course. Ask for feedback, would they change anything? Can they make these expectations?


Step 5: Test your rubrics. See if you can do this yourself. When you have used it once review the rubrics and change anything that needs improving.


Remember a rubrics can be as easy or as complicated as you want to make it!


Give it a go – easy as pie!





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