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What are rubrics?

A rubric is simply a scoring tool that identifies the various criteria relevant to an assignment or learning outcome, and then explicitly states the possible levels of achievement along a continuum (poor to excellent or novice to expert). Rubrics can be used to assess almost any type of student work, be it essays, final projects, oral presentations, or theatrical performances. They can be used at the time an assignment is given to communicate expectations to students, when student work is evaluated for fair and efficient grading, and to even assess a program by determining the extent to which students are achieving departmental learning outcomes. The focus of this introduction is on rubrics for assessing student learning, however, the same principles can be used for departmental- or program-level evaluation.

Rubric examples and other resources

Online tools

  • RubiStar - Create customized rubrics online for free
  • iRubric - Free online rubric builder