What is a rubric?

A rubric is a guide for evaluating student work along certain dimensions. Within the context of program assessment the dimensions can be specific skills or aspects of a learning outcome. For each dimension there are concrete descriptors for different levels of performance. Essentially a rubric takes professional judgments about qualities of student work and aligns them with a rating scale. 

Rubrics can be developed for virtually any student work product, performance or behavior (e.g., written work, presentations, participation in discussions, etc.). 

Rubrics are especially good for evaluating higher order skills or outcomes that are not easily measured by tests (e.g., oral communication, creativity).

For example:

Learning Outcome

Superior (4)

Adequate (3)

Minimal (2)

Lacking (1)

Uses valid, accurate, and appropriate evidence to support arguments.

Uses a variety of appropriate, effective, relevant evidence.

Evidence is appropriate and relevant.

Limited evidence provided.

Little or no evidence is provided.

Next: Creating a rubric

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