Rubrics

What is a Rubric?
A rubric is a measurement tool that describes the criteria against which a performance, behavior, or product is compared and measures. Rubrics list the criteria established for a particular task and the levels of achievement associated with each criterion. These are often developed in the form of a matrix.

For analytic rubrics, the criteria are usually listed down the left column with the descriptions of the levels of achievement across the rows for each criterion. 

For holistic rubrics, the levels of achievement are listed down the first column, and the descriptions of each level of achievement for all criteria are listed in a second column.

Here are the descriptions of analytic and holistic rubrics:

Analytic Rubric: An analytic rubric presents a description of each level of achievement for each criterion, and provides a separate score for each criterion. 
  • Advantages: provides more detailed feedback on student performance; scoring more consistent across students and raters.
  • Disadvantages: more time consuming than applying a holistic rubric.
  • Use when:
    • You want to see strengths and weaknesses.
    • You want detailed feedback about student performance.
Holistic Rubric: A holistic rubric presents a description of each level of achievement and provides a single score based on an overall impression of a student's performance on a task ( (Carriveau, 2010). 
  • Advantages: quick scoring, provides an overview of student achievement, efficient for large group scoring.
  • Disadvantages: does not provided detailed information; not diagnostic; may be difficult for scorers to decide on one overall score.
  • Use when:
    •  You want a quick snapshot of achievement.
    • A single dimension is adequate to define quality.
    Why use a Rubric?
    Here are some primary reasons to use rubrics (Hawaii, 2012). 
    • A rubric creates a common framework and language for assessment. 
    • Complex products or behaviors can be examined efficiently. 
    • Well-trained reviewers apply the same criteria and standards.
    • Rubrics are criterion-referenced, rather than norm-referenced. Raters ask, "Did the student meet the criteria for level 5 of the rubric?" rather than "How well did this student do compared to other students?"
    • Using rubrics can lead to substantive conversations among faculty.
    • When faculty members collaborate to develop a rubric, it promotes shared expectations and grading practices.

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      Oct 20, 2014, 9:39 PM Courtney Swartz
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    "So, what exactly are rubrics? How are they developed? What are their key features? Why are they useful? What are their limitations? What role can they plan in program improvement? These questions, and more, will be addressed in this article."  Oct 20, 2014, 9:39 PM Courtney Swartz
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      Oct 20, 2014, 9:39 PM Courtney Swartz
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      Oct 20, 2014, 9:38 PM Courtney Swartz
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    "Rubistar is an easy to use online rubric makers that also offers accounts (so you can store and access the rubrics you make), templates, and pre-made rubrics for a variety of subjects. Everything on the site is free."  Oct 20, 2014, 9:39 PM Courtney Swartz
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    "This website offers a LOT of pre-made rubrics covering a variety of subjects that are available for your use. You can search by subject matter or by term. This is a great site with a lot of free content, though the focus is on already created rubrics, not make-your-own."  Oct 20, 2014, 9:39 PM Courtney Swartz
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    "iRubric is a pretty great tool...it offers rubric building tools, and a searchable database of pre-existing rubrics from other teachers. It also offers an easy way to grade via the rubric: “just pull up a rubric from the gradebook, click, click, and you’re done. Rubric scores are automatically adjusted to the coursework grading scale and posted on the gradebook.” You even have the option to send a copy of the graded rubric to the students securely. Teachers and students can use the site for free, but if a whole school or district wants to set up a larger scale account, they offer paid options, too."  Oct 20, 2014, 9:39 PM Courtney Swartz