Designing Rubrics

What are rubrics?

A rubric is a multi-dimensional scoring guide linked to assessment (most often in the form of a matrix or table) . It makes explicit the scoring criteria and contexts, promoting consistency in marking whether they are used by one marker for a small class of students, or multiple markers working together on a single unit. Rubrics can be scored quantitatively or qualitatively.

When used correctly, rubrics offer a variety of benefits for educators and students. They are an excellent way to fine-tune the design of an assessment as they allow the assessment designer to envision the range of possible student performance applicable to a list of specified criteria .This can help inform and improve the way assessment descriptions are written and conveyed to students.Rubrics measure accuracy, suitability of content, scope and quality of research, depth of analysis, presentation skills, referencing skills, and numerous other criteria deemed relevant to the assessment.

Rubrics also provide a guide to students, enabling them to understand the criteria by which they will be assessed. They are a method of providing consistent and clear information to students about what the marker expects and serve to demystify the marking process.

More broadly, rubrics can assist staff to improve future assessment design and lesson planning by noting how students have performed according to the expected criteria. They also provide a way to check on the constructive alignment across related units, and between units and the majors, specialisations and courses to which they belong.

Using rubrics in Turnitin

Useful external resources for rubric design