What It Is

A rubric is a tool used to evaluate and assess a learner’s work and can be used for grading. It is a detailed set of criteria or standards for evaluating the quality of most assessments including essays, presentations, projects, artwork, and even calculations. A rubric includes a list of assignment criteria and a description of the level of performance expected for each criterion. The criteria are most often listed in table format and can be accompanied by a scoring guide or scale to assign a specific point value to each level of performance. 


Why It Matters

There are many benefits to using rubrics when assessing a learner’s work, including:

  • – Creating a transparent, objective and consistent way to evaluate work   
  • – Communicating expectations to learners in advance improves the quality of the work 
  • – Allowing learners to self-assess while working
  • – Providing a fixed grading framework saving time for the instructor
  • – Aligning assessments with their curriculum and ensuring learners are meeting specific learning objectives


Apply It

When creating a rubric consider the following:

  1. Clearly define the purpose(s) of the assignment before using the rubric. Communicate these objectives with learners.
  2. Create a list of criteria using these same objectives to assess how well learners met them. Criteria should be stated in simple, clear language and align with the learning objectives. If the rubric uses criteria not in the assignment, consider revising the objectives. 
  3. Decide on which type of rubric best fits the assignment type, objectives, and work style (samples here). 
  4. Develop a rating scale to score each criteria. Include a description of the level of performance expected for each criteria.
  5. Test the rubric by applying it to previously submitted work or a sample submission. Get feedback from other instructors.
  6. Share  the assignment rubric before and after.  Consider sharing the rubric with learners before they begin work and sharing a sample scored submission. After scoring an assignment, share the scored rubric with learners rather than only the aggregated scores. 
  7. Leverage technology. Keep in mind rubrics can be used without technology, but they can also be created, used, and shared within platforms such as Blackboard and Gradescope.




Wolf, K., and E. Stevens. 2007. “The Role of Rubrics in Advancing and Assessing Student Learning.” The Journal of Effective Teaching 7 (1): 3–14.


Cite This Resource

Studio for Teaching & Learning Innovation. (2023, February). Rubrics [Teaching resource].


Updated 2/2023.