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Tools - Rubrics

A rubric is a tool for scoring an assignment, presentation, or project that separately examines the component parts related to each of the objectives for the work. In assessing student learning, a rubric can provide the basis both for grading for an individual student, and also feedback to the instructor about how well all students, combined, achieved the goals. The latter use is assessment.

Typically, a rubric is presented as a grid which lists the objectives of the assignment, task, or experience along the side, and possible ratings across the top. A detailed scoring rubric will include in each cell of the grid, a description of the kinds of performance that would warrant the rating. A more general rubric might simply list the objectives and perhaps a range of scores, either numerically (e.g. 1-5) or as a descriptive (e.g. "Needs work," "Satisfactory," "Excellent").

"Rubrics Presentation at Tri-College retreat" [pdf] for our Teagle Foundation Systematic Improvement Grant: Sustainable Department-Level Assessment of Student Learning at Haverford College, by Robin Huntington Shores, Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Research & Assessment, January 26, 2010.

(A number of the projects for the grant mentioned above made use of rubrics. See the project's Website for more information.)


  • Dance rubric, Utah Education Network.
  • Oral Communication rubric, University of Delaware Civil & Environmental Engineering.
  • Scientific Report rubric, San Diego State University.
  • Senior Thesis [pdf], Carol Trosset and Steven Weisler (designed by eleven faculty members representing four institutions and eight disciplines, and further developed by nineteen faculty members from seven institutions and ten disciplines, with support from Teagle Foundation)
  • Senior Thesis [pdf], Swarthmore College Educational Studies' Rubric for the 2-Credit Senior Thesis (developed as part of the Tri-College Teagle Foundation grant project - see above).
  • Vocal performance rubric, University of Alabama.
  • Written Communication rubric [pdf], University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Assessment of Liberal Education

  • Metarubrics for Assessing Essential Learning Outcomes of Liberal Education — A team of faculty and other academic professionals worked with the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) to identify essential learning outcomes and to develop rubrics for assessing them.   This is a great starting point for discussion of assessment at any level - course, major, department, institution...