Rubric Development Guidelines

Use the following guidelines to help get started with developing a rubric. 

  • Start small by creating one rubric for one assignment in a semester.  
  • Ask colleagues if they have developed rubrics for similar assignments or adapt rubrics that are available online. For example, the AACU has rubrics for topics such as written and oral communication, critical thinking, and creative thinking. RubiStar helps you to develop your rubric based on templates. 
  • Examine an assignment for your course. Outline the elements or critical attributes to be evaluated (these attributes must be objectively measurable). 
  • Create an evaluative range for performance quality under each element; for instance, “excellent,” “good,” “unsatisfactory.” 
  • Add descriptors that qualify each level of performance:
    • Avoid using subjective or vague criteria such as “interesting” or “creative”; instead, outline objective indicators that would fall under these categories. 
    • The criteria must clearly differentiate one performance level from another. 
    • Assign a numerical scale to each level.  
  • Give a draft of the rubric to your colleagues and/or TAs for feedback. 
  • Train students to use your rubric and solicit feedback; this will help you judge whether the rubric is clear to them and will identify any weaknesses. 
  • Rework the rubric based on the feedback.