Creating an effective rubric can seem daunting, but is well worth the effort and will save time grading. Grading rubrics are valuable tools for both instructors and students not only for grading purposes, but also as a tool to communicate expectations about skills and information mastery.
Sharing student learning goals and how these will be measured helps students to understand your assessment strategies. Rubrics also describe the importance of individual grading items and can emphasize learning priorities for students. Rubrics help students meet learning objectives and actually do better on assignments. It is a measure of respect we provide to students about how they will be assessed—they are less likely to be caught off guard.
Many resources exist for rubric construction, but most start with learning objectives for each lesson that are clear, specific and measurable. Once we know what students need to learn and how they are going to accomplish it, we can look at how to assess their progress and how to weight each learning goal in terms of relative importance.
This link to Carnegie Mellon University provides a strong induction to using rubrics and examples of rubrics for assignments, projects, presentations and more.
This primer on creating rubrics offers a simple how-to for creating a rubric. How to Create a Grading Rubric
MA is now designated as a Leap State which means that the AACU Value Rubrics are important for measuring program level student outcomes. Look at this resource for more information on Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education (VALUE).
For examples of rubrics for assessing different types of learning, multiple disciplines and skills, look at Stephen F Austin State University, Association for the Assessment in Higher Education or the University of West Florida.
If you have interest in sharing a rubric you use any an assignment, please do. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and they can be added to the T & L site.