Rubrics 101

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What is a rubric?

A rubric is a scoring guide and feedback tool that outlines expectations for an assessment. It includes standards and criteria.

Why do rubrics help?


  • Set clear expectations for performance
  • Speed up marking
  • Set objective criteria for performance
  • Clearly connect to goals
  • Are a tool for learning as well as marking

Key Terms

Learning Outcomes: Learning outcomes articulate what we want students to be able to reliably demonstrate by the end of the course. They appear on the course outline. Assessments connect directly to the learning outcomes.

Assessment Goal: A smaller chunk of a learning outcome; be clear with students about what the learning goal of the assessment is, and how it builds toward the course learning outcome(s).

Criteria: The key elements of performance that are being assessed.

Standard: How well the criteria is demonstrated (i.e. strong, medium, weak).

Example: A Rubric for Creating Nachos

Learning Outcome: Create an authentic three-course Mexican meal.

Assessment Goal: Create an appealing nacho dish including cheese, toppings, and sides.

Criteria Strong Medium Weak (Not Yet)
Chips Crispy, flavourful, and hold toppings well (intact) Slightly soggy or lacking in flavour, somewhat intact Soggy, stale, crumbly/broken
Cheese Plentiful, layered throughout, fully melted Lacking in quantity or distribution, or partially melted Not enough cheese, not well distributed, and not fully melted
Toppings Creative, plentiful, well distributed, bite-sized Basic, inappropriate size, or lacking in quantity or distribution Underwhelming or missing, of inappropriate or inconsistent size
Sides Fresh, plentiful, and varied Not enough, or stale, or not varied Not enough, or missing
Presentation Arrives hot, visually appealing Arrives lukewarm or messy Arrives cold, or unappealing