Assessment

20 Designing Rubrics

Jennifer Smith

A rubric is a grading and feedback tool that breaks an assignment down into component parts and describes specific levels of achievement for each element. They can be used for many types of assignments from oral presentations and performances to papers and group projects.

What can rubrics do for you?

  • Clarify assignment expectations for your students
  • Save you and your Teaching Assistants grading time
  • Help you be consistent in your grading and feedback
  • Provide a framework to keep grading consistent between Teaching Assistants

Rubrics in Canvas

Using a rubric coupled with SpeedGrader within Canvas can help you to grade and provide feedback to your students in a time-efficient manner. There are some ins and outs to doing this:

  • You can re-use a rubric you have created on one course for any other Canvas course
  • Once you have used a rubric to grade an assignment, you cannot change it
    • You have to create a new rubric with a different name
    • Add an identifier (Year/Semester) to the rubric name so that you know which one it is when it comes up in your search list
  • Save time for yourself and keep things consistent for your students by using the same rubric for the same type of assignment, such as all of your discussions
    • This may mean that you need to be a bit more general with your criteria and achievement levels
    • Remember that you can always adjust the points manually
    • You can write individual comments to customize feedback for the individual student

Sample Rubrics

It takes a bit of time to think through criteria and levels of achievement for your assignments. It can be helpful to start with a rubric that has been created by someone else and adapt it to your needs. This approach helps you to think about elements that you may not have previously considered. These are sources for some starter rubrics:

  • Rubistar is an online rubric generator
    • Search for existing rubrics in a variety of disciplines
    • Customize the rubric to meet your needs and download it
    • If you are using Canvas, you’ll need to copy/paste the individual items into your assignment rubric
  • The AAC&U VALUE Rubrics cover 16 learning outcomes including:
    • Critical thinking
    • Creative thinking
    • Written communication
    • Oral communication
    • Quantitative literacy
    • Intercultural knowledge and competence
    • Global learning
  • Carnegie Mellon’s Eberly Center provides rubric examples for a variety of assignments
    • Paper assignments
    • Projects
    • Oral Presentations
    • Class Participation/Contributions

Rubric Template

  Beginning
1
Developing
2
Accomplished
3
Exemplary
4
Score
Stated Objective or Performance Description of identifiable performance characteristics reflecting a beginning level of performance. Description of identifiable performance characteristics reflecting development and movement towards mastery of performance. Description of identifiable performance characteristics reflecting of mastery of performance. Description of identifiable performance characteristics reflecting of the highest levels of performance.
Stated Objective or Performance Description of identifiable performance characteristics reflecting a beginning level of performance. Description of identifiable performance characteristics reflecting development and movement towards mastery of performance. Description of identifiable performance characteristics reflecting of mastery of performance. Description of identifiable performance characteristics reflecting of the highest levels of performance.
Stated Objective or Performance Description of identifiable performance characteristics reflecting a beginning level of performance. Description of identifiable performance characteristics reflecting development and movement towards mastery of performance. Description of identifiable performance characteristics reflecting of mastery of performance. Description of identifiable performance characteristics reflecting of the highest levels of performance.
Stated Objective or Performance Description of identifiable performance characteristics reflecting a beginning level of performance. Description of identifiable performance characteristics reflecting development and movement towards mastery of performance. Description of identifiable performance characteristics reflecting of mastery of performance. Description of identifiable performance characteristics reflecting of the highest levels of performance.

This is a general rubric format.

Sample Rubric: Visual Storytelling Project

Criteria Excellent Good Needs Work Absent
Project demonstrates good use (or intentional breaking of) design principles. Contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity are fully present throughout the work. Contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity are mostly present although one or two principles may be absent on 1 - 3 pages. Contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity are missing on 4 - 6 pages. Contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity are largely missing throughout the work.
The project demonstrates a cohesive design across multiple pages as appropriate. All pages have a consistent look and feel. Design elements are repeated throughout. Design elements are mostly repeated throughout, however 1 -2 pages may not fit with the design scheme. Design elements are seldom repeated throughout, and the work is not coherent. Design elements are not repeated throughout, and the work is chaotic and unorganized.
The viewer can easily discern the story. The events of the story are clear to the viewer. The events of the story are mostly clear to the viewer. The events of the story are difficult for the viewer to follow. It is not possible for the viewer to determine the events of the story.
The story effectively uses the likely experience of the target audience. The story effectively references experience that the target audience is likely to have. The story references the target audience but includes 1 - 2 elements likely to be outside of the target audience's experience. The story includes 3 - 6 elements likely to be outside of the target audience's experience. The story elements are generally outside of the target audience's experience. Elements are not used effectively.

This sample rubric is for a visual storytelling project in a visual communication course.

 

License

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UF Instructor Guide by Jennifer Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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