In today’s post I talk about rubrics. These are scoring and criterion-referenced guidelines teachers create to help with the assessment of students performance, among other things. A rubric, according to Deborah Allen and Kimberly Tanner, “denotes a type of matrix that provides scaled levels of achievement or understanding for a set of criteria or dimensions of quality for a given type of performance, for example, a paper, an oral presentation, or use of teamwork skills.”
Two major functions of rubrics are: guiding and assessing. They guide students as to what is expected of them in a given activity or assignment and they also assist teachers in evaluating students performance along a pre-defined set of values, standards, and objectives. Rubrics can be used by “a teacher to assess a student, a student to assess a peer, or a student to self-assess their own work” (TeachersFirst).
Two main rubric types to be distinguished here: Holistic and Analytic rubrics:
1- Holistic rubrics:
A holistic rubric is general in scope and uses a single scale where all assessment criteria are grouped into a single criteria used to assess the overall performance of students work.”Performance descriptions are written in paragraphs and usually in full sentences”. (Queen’s University).
2- Analytic rubrics
An analytic rubric addresses specific areas in students performance. It resembles a grid “with the criteria for a student product listed in the leftmost column and with levels of performance listed across the top row often using numbers and/or descriptive tags.” (Depaul).
Why rubrics are important:
Rubrics make your grading objective by explicitly stating the standards and grading norms to be followed.They help students make clear expectations of what a higher performance on particular performance tasks requires.They ‘encourage reflective practice on the part of both students and teachers’ (Allen and Tanner)Holistic rubrics save you time “by minimizing the number of decisions raters make” (Depaul)Analytic rubrics help you “provide useful feedback on areas of strength and weakness” (Depaul)
The sources list at the bottom of this post contains some useful links to help you learn more about rubrics, how to use them, sample rubrics and many more.
There are several tools you can use to create rubrics. These include:
1- Quick Rubric
This is a simple and easy tool to help you make different rubric types. You can build your rubric from scratch and when you are done you can save, print and share with others. Quick Rubric provides you with some handy resources to help you learn more about the pedagogic strength of rubrics.
2- Graphic Organizers
Pre-made graphic organizers makes it super easy for you to create your own rubrics. Simply search for the graphic organizer of your choice and edit it to meet your own teaching goals. I have already reviewed a collection of some of the best platforms where you can access educational graphic organizers
. Check them out to learn more.
3- Rubric Maker
is another simple and easy to use tool to create rubrics. It does not require registration and is totally web based. You can create and customize your rubric the way you want and when you are finished you can print and share it with others. It does not offer any option to save your finished product other than printing.
provides pre-made rubric templates based on different topics (e.g., math, writing, science, music, reading). The tool is free and can be used without registration, however, only registered members are allowed to save and edit their rubrics.
5- Teachnology Rubric Generator
has this handy Rubric generator that lets you create various types of rubrics. The way it works is simple and easy: first enter the name of your school, add a title for your rubric and a teacher name. Scroll to the body section of the rubric and provide your own data. When you are done, click on Generate rubric button. Voila!