Create a Rubric

Developing a rubric can be very helpful when assessing SLOs. Rubricsassist faculty and students to assess complex SLOs more easily. Rubrics clarify the key elements of the SLO and illustrate the standards that will be used to determine success.

Rubrics help instructors teaching different sections of the same course a standard way to  analyze assessments prioviding clearer communication across multiple sections. When used  over multiple sememsters, rubrics can provide benchmarks against which to measure and document progress.

What is a rubric?

A rubric is a set of criteria and a scoring scale that is used to assess and evaluate students’ work. Often rubrics identify levels or ranks with criteria indicated for each level. Rubrics can have as few as two levels of performance or as many as appropriate.  SOme may be as simple as Pass/ NO pass while others can have 3-5 levels.

Advantages of rubrics for instructors

  • Objective and consistent among all students

  • Leads to insight concerning the effectiveness of instruction

  • Clarifies criteria in specific terms

  • Data analysis becomes easier

  • Shows areas in need of improvement

  • Establishes “ground rules” to resolve potential academic disputes

  • Reduces subjectivity involved in evaluating qualitative work

  • Benchmarks against which to measure and document progress

  • Reduces time necessary to evaluate student work

  • Ensures all instructors are measuring work by same standards

  • Promotes connection between student assessment and course objectives

Advantages of rubrics for students

  • Helps define “quality”

  • Instructors expectations are clear

  • Manner in which to meet the expectations are clear

  • Students can better judge and revise their own work and assist their peers

  • Vehicle for student feedback – promote student/faculty communication

  • Promotes self assessment of their own learning and performance

  • Leads to improvements in the quality of student work

Developing a Rubric:

  1. Work with others teaching the course – this can take place during in-person meetings, through online collaboration, or a combination of both.
  2. Break down the SLO and look for key features. These will become the Primary Traits and will go down the side of the rubric
  3. Decide if you want a “yes/no” measure or one that includes levels. These will become the Levels of Mastery and will go across the top of the rubric
  4. Describe the observable behaviors that lead to the levels in #2 for each of the Primary Traits. These go in the spaces between the Primary Traits and the Levels of Mastery.

Holistic Rubric

Holistic rubrics provide a single score based on an overall impression.  They tend to be used when a quick or gross judgment needs to be made. If the assessment is a minor one, such as a brief homework assignment, it may be sufficient to apply a holistic judgment (e.g., check, check-plus, or no-check) to quickly review student work. But holistic rubrics can also be employed for more substantial assignments. On some tasks it is not easy to evaluate performance on one criterion independently of performance on a different criterion.





Demonstrates complete understanding of the problem. All requirements of task are included in response.



Demonstrates considerable understanding of the problem. All requirements of task are included.



Demonstrates partial understanding of the problem. Most of the requirements of task are included.



Demonstrates little understanding of the problem. Many requirements of task are missing.



Demonstrates no understanding of the problem.


No response/task not attempted.

Analytic Rubric

Instructor scores separate, individual parts of the assignment or performance first then sums the individual scores to obtain a final score. Analytic rubrics consists of two components: Criteria (vital traits, key qualities, dimensions) and Levels of Performance.

Analytic rubrics provide useful feedback on areas of strength and weaknesses and the criterion can be weighed to reflect relative importance of each criterion.



Levels of Performance

Skills/ Criterion







Description reflecting beginning level of performance

Description reflecting movement toward mastery level of performance

Description reflecting achievement of mastery level of performance

Description reflecting highest level of performance

Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Rubric

The follwoing questions should be posed when evaluating whether the rubric being used is effective:

  • Does the rubric relate to the outcome(s) being measured?

  • Does it cover important criteria for student performance?

  • Does the top of the rubric reflect excellence?

  • Are the criteria and scales well-defined?

  • Can the rubric be applied consistently by different scorers