Assess and give feedback to learners
Appropriate methods for teaching, learning and assessing in the subject area in the subject area and at the level of the academic programme
Rubrics in higher education refer to a set of criteria or standards used to evaluate student learning or performance. Rubrics can be used to assess a wide range of learning outcomes, such as written assignments, presentations, group projects, or exams, and can provide a clear and objective way to measure student progress and achievement. Rubrics typically include a set of criteria or standards, as well as a set of descriptors or levels of performance, such as excellent, satisfactory, or needs improvement. The goal of using rubrics in higher education is to provide students with clear expectations and feedback on their learning, and to help educators make more objective and consistent evaluations of student performance.
A rubric is a detailed scoring tool that tells students (and instructors) what is important to consider when completing an assessment task.
Rubrics include three elements:
An example of a rubric
How to use Rubrics and Grading Forms in Turnitin
Rubrics improve a number of desirable student outcomes (e.g., learning, motivation) while reducing undesirable ones (e.g., dissatisfaction, stress).
There are several effects of using rubrics reported in the literature.
Description is better than evaluation. Allow students to be co-creators. Less is more.
There are three mechanisms that explain why rubrics are effective.
There are no meta-analyses on this topic, so caution is advised when applying the evidence.
There are seven reviews on rubrics included in this evidence summary, two of which are specific to higher education (and one that reviews criticisms of using rubrics). However, all of these reviews are qualitative, meaning that we don't have a strong or confident understanding of the effect of rubrics on student outcomes. Additionally, because of the nature of some of these reviews, information about the risk of bias of the studies included is not reported. That said, all seven reviews drew on a wide body of primary studies from various contexts, giving us some confidence that their conclusions about the effect of the rubric are valid.
Brookhart, S. M. (2018). Appropriate criteria: Key to effective rubrics. Frontiers in Education, 3. https://doi.org/10.3389/feduc.2018.00022
Brookhart, S. M., & Chen, F. (2015). The quality and effectiveness of descriptive rubrics. Educational Review, 67(3), 343–368. https://doi.org/10.1080/00131911.2014.929565
Cockett, A., & Jackson, C. (2018). The use of assessment rubrics to enhance feedback in higher education: An integrative literature review. Nurse Education Today, 69, 8–13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2018.06.022
Jonsson, A., & Svingby, G. (2007). The use of scoring rubrics: Reliability, validity and educational consequences. Educational Research Review, 2(2), 130–144. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2007.05.002
Panadero, E., & Jonsson, A. (2020). A critical review of the arguments against the use of rubrics. Educational Research Review, 30, 100329. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2020.100329
Panadero, E., & Jonsson, A. (2013). The use of scoring rubrics for formative assessment purposes revisited: A review. Educational Research Review, 9(1), 129–144. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2013.01.002
Reddy, Y. M., & Andrade, H. (2010). A review of rubric use in higher education. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 35(4), 435–448. https://doi.org/10.1080/02602930902862859