The Ultimate Guide to Rubrics


The role of rubrics in schools continues to grow and change. This guide is intended to help you stay up to date on the best practices. Including both the newest thoughts and timeless staples, the content comes from The Graide Network plus third party experts - all carefully curated for you.

Table of Contents

> The Basics

> Using Rubrics

> Revising Rubrics

> Additional Tools & Resources


The Basics

Rubrics 101
Check out The Graide Network’s exhaustive guide to rubrics: their structure, benefits, and downfalls. If you need to brush up on the latest in rubrics research, this is the place to go.

The Role of Rubrics
Why are rubrics worth the effort? This article from The Journal of Effective Teaching will convince you of the power of rubrics. If you’ve been looking for examples of rubrics outside of the field of English, check out their examples of rubrics for everything from springboard diving to giving speeches.

Backwards Rubrics
Before creating a rubric for any specific assignment, it’s important to think about the larger learning outcomes and goals that students should meet in your class. This “backwards design rubric” chart takes you from big picture ideas to specific rubric requirements, guiding you every step of the way.

The Essential Guide to Standards-Based Rubrics
What’s the advantage of creating a rubric rather than a checklist? This guide written by The Graide Network explains how students can take ownership of their work by engaging with standards-based rubrics and provides a step-by-step guide to creating one.


Using Rubrics

The Great Divide: Analytical and Holistic Rubrics
In order to evaluate an assignment, you must decide whether you want to create a holistic rubric or an analytical rubric. The Graide Network weighs the benefits and drawbacks of each type in this article with helpful visual examples of each.

Single Point Rubrics
If you’ve already mastered analytical and holistic rubrics, check out Jennifer Gonzalez’s revolutionary single-point rubric. Single-point rubrics are often faster for teachers to create, and they can help students focus directly on the learning goal.

General & Task-Specific Rubrics
Learn how to create rubrics that can be applied to more than one assignment! General rubrics help students see the big picture.

More Feedback, Less Time
This article from College Teaching makes the case for instructional rubrics, rubrics that enhance student learning in addition to assessing it. Learn how to incorporate more student self-assessment and peer-assessment in your classroom! A bonus benefit: the more effective your rubrics are, the less time you’ll have to spend grading.

Using Rubrics for The Graide Network
Having some assignments graded by The Graide Network? Learn how to set up yourself (and your students) for success with the right kind of rubric first.


Revising Rubrics

Performance Criteria & Consistency
Creating a consistent rubric is imperative but challenging. Education researchers from the University of Ottawa make that process easier with their guide to rubric scales and parallelism. Be sure to read this before you pass out your newest rubric.

Norming: The Key to Consistent Results
To make sure your rubrics are fair and consistent, check out this 7 step guide to calibrating and norming your rubrics-- both within a class and across classes.

A Guide to Rubric Calibration
Rubrics can help teachers get on the same page when it comes to grading. But what would that conversation look like? One director of Institutional Assessment provides a step-by-step guide to running a staff meeting dedicated to rubric calibration.

Revision: A Case Study
This case study on revising an engineering portfolio rubric is thorough and widely applicable across disciplines. If you’re worried about your rubrics having uneven performance increments, inconsistent qualifiers, or “orphan” words (or you want to find out what these terms mean!), read this illuminating guide to rubric revision.


Tools & Resources

Free Rubric Creator
The fastest way to create a rubric is to use The Graide Network’s free tool. Great for beginners making their first rubrics or experts looking to refine their masterpieces.

All the Example Rubrics You’ll Ever Need
Need some sample rubrics to get your creative juices flowing? Kathy Schrock has compiled dozens of high quality rubrics that will be particularly helpful to teachers who need Common Core-specific rubrics or rubrics for multimedia projects.

Grading Hack: Rubric Codes
Check out this Cult of Pedagogy video on creating rubric codes to encourage students to pay more attention to your feedback and make your papers go from the “to grade” pile to the “graded” pile faster than ever.


Now that you have rubrics down, check out our Ultimate Guide to Grading and Feedback.