A rubric is a system of grading that consists of a criteria chart outlining exactly what is to be evaluated in a piece of work. A rubric is often used in the evaluation of actions, procedures, performances, or complex projects and assignments. A rubric includes a defining criteria, the levels of the quality of work done, and the points awarded based on each level of quality.

Application to All Courses

  • When given to students prior to a project or assignment, a rubric is a good way to convey expectations.
  • A group of students can use a rubric to peer evaluate projects or assignments.
  • A rubric gives an educator a consistent and specific tool to measure complex student performances, projects, and assignments.


The following rubric is an example of a possible rubric for a writing assignment:

Rubric Example: Writing Assignment
CATEGORIES 1 Point 3 Points 5 Points
Presentation No thesis statement or conclusion. Introduction and background is insignifcant. Thoughts are poorly presented. Writing and grammar is poor. Has some form of thesis statment and conclusion. Introduction and background is somewhat significant to the thesis. Thoughts are fairly well presented. Uses adequate grammar. Thesis statement and conclusion significantly relates to the question. Provides a clear introduction and background. Thoughts are well-structured and logical. Uses correct grammar.
Conceptual Understanding Does not demonstrate understanding of the ideas and issues. Uses little or no information to support arguments. Demonstrates partial understanding of ideas and issues. Uses a limited amount of information to support arguments. Observations go above and beyond. Uses a broad range of information to support arguments.
Argument Structure Provides unclear statements and observations. Does not relate thoughts to issues. Does not provide evidence to support conclusions. Provides statements that relate thoughts and observations to the issues. Provides adequate evidence to support conclusions. Provides strong, clear, convincing statments and observations. Provides relevant evidence and synthesizes evidence with ideas, observations, and original thoughts.
Resources and Documentation Does not make use of available resources. Does not cite references. Resources used are sufficient but not extensive or thorough. Thorough and extensive use of resources.

Getting Started

If you plan to create and use a rubric for grading in your LMS, follow the instructions below:

Here is an example thought process to follow when creating a rubric for an assessment:

  • Determine the categories that you wish to assess based on the concepts that you are teaching. Ask yourself, “What are the essential learning objectives?”
  • Choose the criteria that will be evaluated for each category.
  • Write the evidence of what will be produced for each level of mastery.
  • Assign a point value for each category.
  • Place the information in a grid.
  • Give the students the rubric in advance so that they are aware of what will be assessed.
  • Compare student work with the rubric.

Additional Resources

Articles–Journal and Academic

Articles–Blogs, Websites, Wikis


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