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Stage 4: Develop Assessment Rubrics


Learning is assessed through the use of rubrics. Communication of learning goals and the associated rubrics must be consistent to all students and faculty members. Any changes to either learning goals or rubrics must be done collectively by all current faculty members teaching in the program. Rubrics may take many different forms, but must be consistently applied to a particular assignment. 

In other words, a rubric for competency in interpersonal, oral and written communications may look very different from a rubric for ethical reasoning. However, the assignment and rubric assessing interpersonal, oral and written communications must be the same for every student and every instructor involved in the assessment process.


Assessement Rubrics Example

An example of a rubric for one learning goal from our previous examples is provided above. Not only does the rubric provide point values and descriptions for proper assessment of the student work, there is also a stated performance goal overall for the students to achieve. A well-constructed rubric is easy to understand and use for both faculty and students as well as provides information for needed improvements. There are many sources available from which to draw rubrics and avoid having to develop them internally.  In fact, professionally developed rubrics may be preferred in order to establish reliability and validity of assessment results.

An important decision associated with the implementation of rubrics is the number of points on your assessment scale. There is no one right or wrong answer to this decision as there are both pros and cons to more points versus fewer points. A common selection is four points to force a choice that is not the middle (as in a 5 point scale) and keep definitions relatively simple (as compared to a 7 or 10 point scale). A decision will also have to be made as to whether you will allow mid-values, i.e. 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, etc.

Finally, it is important to define a goal for performance. In other words, once the rubric is developed:

  1. What is the goal for the students to demonstrate an acceptable level of performance overall? 
  2. What is the goal for the students in aggregate to demonstrate an acceptable level of performance for the entire program?


  1. Using the assessment rubrics template listed below, draft a rubrics matrix for each major or program.
    Save the file to your local drive or your personal network drive (P:).

    Rubrics Template
    Assessment Rubrics Template

  2. Click on the Submit button below which will launch your e-mail client. Attach the Assessment Rubrics Matrices and send.
    Submit Assessment Rubrics Matrix

© Dr. Karen Shumway