Tips for developing and using rubrics

by Kristina Birnbrauer
PhD student, University of Florida

Rubrics are used to support and assess student learning. They serve as performance scorecards to identify and measure criteria for student assignments. Rubrics are especially useful when grading written assignments.

They can reduce teacher-student disagreement, provide structure to the evaluation process, reduce the overall time spent grading, and provide students with a holistic picture of strengths and weaknesses.

Best practices recommend that rubrics have three to five levels of achievement or gradation. Within each level, performance measures should be clearly communicated, along with the scores/percentages for fulfilling/not-fulfilling the assignment.

The following resources can be helpful to members of the University of Florida community:

University of Florida’s Handbook for Teaching Assistants

University of Florida Faculty Grading Policy

University of Florida Student Grading Policy

Other helpful resources include:

“Understanding Rubrics” by Heidi Goodrich Andrade

Walvoord, B.E. & Anderson, V.J. (1998). Effective grading: A tool for learning and assessment. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, Inc.

Kristina  Birnbraurer is a student in Mass Communication Teaching (MMC 6930). Her teaching presentation was on developing and using rubrics. She is a health communication researcher. Her research involves how individuals respond to health threats.

3 thoughts on “Tips for developing and using rubrics

    • Thanks for your feedback. The class and I would be interested in your experience with rubrics. Does your school district provide rubrics as part of the curriculum or training for teachers on how to develop rubrics?

      • The district I teach in doesn’t provide a platform for rubrics. Luckily, the teaching program I was in provided them. I basically catered the rubrics to all assignments for my writing class. I’ve seen other ways of grading around me, and I’m glad I took it upon myself to make those rubrics to provide proper feedback…

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