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Assessment of Student Learning


The term rubric is derived from the Latin term rubrica that means, "red earth."  It came to refer to indications written in red ink within manuscripts of various forms during the middle ages.  Red markings within liturgical documents could indicate how a hymn was to be sung or a religious service was to be conducted.  - Dictionary.com

"A rubric is an explicit set of criteria used for assessing a particular type of work or performance and provides more details than a single grade or mark... Typically designed as a grid-type structure, a grading rubric includes criteria, levels of performance, scores, and descriptors which become unique assessment tools for any given assignment."

NIU Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning

Before You Create Your Assessment Rubric

First, plan and organize your course based on your student learning outcomes.

Then determine what assessment of student learning make sense for those outcomes— quizzes, presentations, writing assignments, etc.

Finally, generate rubrics suitable to assess those demonstrations of learning.

Duquesne University offers a rubric guide which includes a checklist and worksheet for creating effective rubrics.


Rubrics (the Basics)

Rubric basics from Harvard's Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning

"Whenever we give feedback, it inevitably reflects our priorities and expectations about the assignment. In other words, we're using a rubric to choose which elements (e.g., right/wrong answer, work shown, thesis analysis, style, etc.) receive more or less feedback and what counts as a "good thesis" or a "less good thesis." When we evaluate student work, that is, we always have a rubric. The question is how consciously we’re applying it, whether we’re transparent with students about what it is, whether it’s aligned with what students are learning in our course, and whether we’re applying it consistently."

Grant Wiggins Ed.D. on Rubrics

What is a Rubric? Well, It's Complicated from TeachThought

"Bad rubrics kill creativity because they demand formulaic response. Good rubrics demand great results, and give students the freedom to cause them. Bottom line: if you signal in your rubrics that a powerful result is a goal you free up creativity and initiative."

Rubrics in Canvas