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007 Identifying and Creating Effective Rubrics

Rubrics Overview

Active learning situations challenge teachers to determine grades in a way that accurately reflects achievement and that is acceptable to students, parents, and colleagues. "Rubrics" are guides for assigning scores to alternative assessment products. They encourage clear assessment targets and clear expectations. When a rubric is well defined, learners know exactly what is expected of them and how they may achieve a top grade. Most learners want to excel and will work hard if they believe there is an opportunity for success. They will exert more effort and produce more work to meet clearly expressed expectations for success. 

Rubrics are sets of criteria or scoring guides that describe levels of performance or understanding. They provide students with expectations about what will be assessed, standards that need to be met, and information about where students are in relation to where they need to be.

Developing a Rubric is a dynamic process. 

The information below has been provided by Donna Szpyrka and Ellyn B. Smith of Florida's Statewide Systemic Initiative.

Guidelines for Developing a Rubric

  • Determine which concepts, skills, or performance standards you are assessing.
  • List the concepts and rewrite them into statements which reflect both cognitive and performance components.
  • Identify the most important concepts or skills being assessed in the task.
  • On the basis of the purpose of the task, determine the number of points to be used for the rubric (example: 4-point scale or 6-point scale).
  • Starting with the desired performance, determine the description for each score remembering to use the importance of each element of the task or performance to determine the score or level of the rubric.
  • Compare student work to the rubric. Record the elements that caused you to assign a given rating to the work.
  • Revise the rubric descriptions based on performance elements reflected by the student work that you did not capture in your draft rubric.
  • Rethink your scale: Does a [ ]-point scale differentiate enough between types of student work to satisfy you?
  • Adjust the scale if necessary. Reassess student work and score it against the developing rubric.


Action Steps:


1.  Determine Concepts 

  • List the concepts, skills, or performance standards you identified in Module 4, and will be assessing.
  • Rewrite them into student friendly statements which may reflect both cognitive and performance components.
  • Identify the most important concepts or skills being assessed in the task.


2.  Practice developing and saving rubrics.  Using one or more of the concepts chosen in step 1, watch the videos below and  create a simple rubric.  

  • There are many rubric generators, for today's practice please use:


  • Rcampus is free and you will need to register:  Click on "create login" in the upper right corner of web page.


How to Build a Simple Rubric

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How to add rows and columns

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3.  Create a rubric(s) to assess the standards and concepts addressed in your project.


4.   Reflection 007

Reflect on one or more of the following statements:

What I learned was.....

What I was most concerned about....

What I still wonder about....




Quick Links to Rubrics

Cooperative Learning Research Process/Report
PowerPoint/Podcast Oral Presentation
Web Page and ePortfolio Math, Art, Science
Video and Multimedia Project       Creating Rubrics
Writing Rubrics for Primary Grades
Game and Simulations  

© COPYRIGHT 2007-2008 Joan Vandervelde

All Rights Reserved.

Updated: October 25, 2008


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