Grading Rubrics

What is a rubric?

A rubric is a scoring tool designed for a specific activity or assignment which outlines the performance expectations or grading criteria. Typically, the rubric will also outline the manner in which the activity will be graded.

Rubrics are often represented in a table format with individual components of the assignment on the y axis and varying levels of performance, often with associated point values, on the x axis (See example below). The individual criteria should be written clearly and in as much detail as possible. It is important to include all aspects by which you intend to grade the assignment in the rubric.

Why should I use a rubric?

Using a grading rubric allows both the student and the professor to be clear about the expectations of any assignment.

If you think of your job as an example, your job description helps create a grading rubric for your performance evaluation. It is important for you to know exactly what is expected of you and while doing reviews, it is important to have an objective way of evaluating an employee.

The same is true for grading rubrics. A well-constructed rubric uses observable, measurable components to evaluate student work.

Using a grading rubric is a great way for your students to know what is expected of them as well as a way to make grading easier and less subjective for you.

Sample Rubric

This rubric is for an in-class presentation. The total possible for this assignment is 15 points.

ContentShows a full understanding of the topic.Shows a good understanding of the topic.Shows a good understanding of parts of the topic.Does not seem to understand the topic very well.Does not understand or address any topic.
Audience EngagementMakes good use of the chosen medium to engage the audience’s attention.Makes fair use of chosen medium to engage audience attention.Makes some use of medium to engage audience attention.Makes little or any use of medium or does not attempt to engage audience attention.Makes no real use of any medium. No audience engagement.
PreparednessStudent is completely prepared and has obviously rehearsed.Student seems pretty prepared but might have needed a couple more rehearsals.Student is somewhat prepared, but it is clear that rehearsal was lacking.Student did not seem at all prepared to present.Student did not present.