Grading rubrics can be of great benefit to both you and your students. For you, a rubric saves time and decreases subjectivity. Specific criteria are explicitly stated, facilitating the grading process and increasing your objectivity. For students, the use of grading rubrics helps them to meet or exceed expectations, to view the grading process as being fair, and to set goals for future learning.
In order to help your students meet or exceed expectations of the assignment, be sure to discuss the rubric with your students when you assign an essay. It is helpful to show them examples of written pieces that meet and do not meet the expectations. As an added benefit, because the criteria are explicitly stated, the use of the rubric decreases the likelihood that students will argue about the grade they receive. The explicitness of the expectations helps students know exactly why they lost points on the assignment and aids them in setting goals for future improvement.
- Routinely have students score peers essays using the rubric as the assessment tool. This increases their level of awareness of the traits that distinguish successful essays from those that fail to meet the criteria. Have peer editors use the Reviewers Comments section to add any praise, constructive criticism, or questions.
- Alter some expectations or add additional traits on the rubric as needed. Students needs may necessitate making more rigorous criteria for advanced learners or less stringent guidelines for younger or special needs students. Furthermore, the content area for which the essay is written may require some alterations to the rubric. In social studies, for example, an essay about geographical landforms and their effect on the culture of a region might necessitate additional criteria about the use of specific terminology.
- After you and your students have used the rubric, have them work in groups to make suggested alterations to the rubric to more precisely match their needs or the parameters of a particular writing assignment.
Examples of Rubrics
Several examples of rubrics that can be found on the web are linked below to aid in the development of rubrics for post secondary education settings.
Template for Creating a Rubric
The below link is to a MSWord file that contains a template for a rubric and instructions for how to use and modify the template to meet individual grading needs. Instructors can download this file and modify it as needed to construct their own rubric.
AAC&U VALUE Rubrics
The AAC&U VALUE initiative (2007-09) developed 16 VALUE rubrics for the LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes. Elements and descriptors for each rubric were based on the most frequently identified characteristics or criteria of learning for each of the 16 learning outcomes. Drafts of each rubric have been tested by faculty with their own students’ work on over 100 college campuses.
The VALUE rubrics contribute to the national dialogue on assessment of college student learning. The AAC&U web is widely used by individuals working in schools, higher education associations, colleges, and universities in the United States and around the world.
Instructors can use the rubrics in their current form. They can also modify the language and rubric elements to meet the specific needs of their assignment or assessment goal.
Access to the VALUE Rubrics is free. AAC&U requests that users register before downloading PDF or Word versions of the rubrics to assist their research on rubric use.
External link to AAC&U Rubric download page: http://www.aacu.org/value-rubrics
Collections of Rubric Links
Interactive Quality of an Online Course
Student Peer Review
Theses and Dissertations
Updated: 06/20/16 gb