Foundations of Education and Instructional Assessment/Performance Assessment and Rubrics/Types

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Rubrics: Which Is BEST For You?

By Ashley Wade

Learning Targets [edit | edit source]

Students should be able to:

a) Define rubric.

b) Identify different types of rubrics.

c) Understand how to incorporate rubrics into grading.

What is a Rubric?[edit | edit source]

So what is a rubric? According to Goodrich, a rubric is “a scoring tool that lists the criteria for a piece of work or what counts.” Through this scoring tool, teachers are able to determine how to grade their students work fairly and reasonably. With the implementation of a rubric, students and their parents will also be able to “figure out how their [or their child's] project will be evaluated.” Rubrics allow everyone to see what is being asked and what an individual is supposed to be doing. One student even stated that they disliked rubrics because “if you get something wrong, your teacher can prove you knew what you were supposed to do.” Usually “rubrics specify level of performance expected for several levels of quality.” These are either titled as ratings, from excellent to poor, or as numerical scores, from zero to four. From these two types of ratings, a teacher or instructor can total the scores to determine a final grade, ranging from an A to a F. (What is a Rubric?, 2008)

Different Rubrics [edit | edit source]

There are many different types of rubrics that have been developed. Listed below are some of the main types of rubrics that can be used in the classroom.


• Usually judges the assignment as a whole entity

• Usually very easy to use and can be created very quickly

• Associated with less feedback


• Usually judges the assignment by its individual parts

• Usually harder and more time consuming to create

• Has more specific feedback

General or Generic

• Usually scores assignments that have similar tasks

• Better for regular events or assignments, i.e. papers or science projects

• Easier to compare an individual’s progress over time


• Usually scores assignments that are unique and specific

• Better for just assigning grades

• Harder to create, yet get nothing in return either, such as feedback

...So which one is BEST for me? [edit | edit source]

"...rubrics help teachers as well as evaluate student work. Further, creating rubrics with your students can be powerfully instructive." (Andrade, H., 2000)

By examining the various rubrics listed above, one can see that each is very specific to what kind of needs it can accommodate. By using a general rubric, a teacher can grade a student's paper quickly, make the grading process easier, as well as making the student's expectations known at the same time. If a teacher asked their student to put on a skit in front of the class, a more task-specific rubric could be developed in order to accommodate the specific ideas the teacher would want the student to present. With rubrics, the teacher can make sure he/she grades all the students with the same intentions in mind, as well as lets the student know ahead of time what they will be graded on. Simply put, rubrics are something that take time to get used to and create. By looking at various rubrics that have already been made, a teacher can then determine which ones might benefit them most. Even by including one's students in the process of creating a rubric can help to benefit all sides of the spectrum.

To see examples of the various rubrics and develop your own, Go to:

Let's test your knowledge! [edit | edit source]

1.) Who benefits from rubrics?

a) The Parent

b) The Student

c) The Teacher

d) All of the Above

2.) Which of the following is NOT a type of rubric?

a) Analytical

b) General

c) Holistic

d) Major

3.) Mrs. Smith might use a task-specific rubric because...

a) She is having her students do a very general assignment.

b) She will easily be able to compare her students progress.

c) She is having her students do a very unique assignment.

d) It is harder to create, yet gives great feedback.

4.) Mrs. White might use a holistic rubric in order to...

a) Judge her student's assignment by its individual parts

b) Judge her student's assignment as a whole.

c) Obtain more feedback for her students

d) Take more time in making a rubric for her students

Answers: 1) D 2) D 3) C 4) B

References [edit | edit source]

What is a Rubric? (2008) In Rubistar/4 Teachers. Retrieved October 25, 2008, from

Andrade, H. (2000) Using Rubrics to Promote Thinking and Learning. Educational Leadership. 57(5),1-7.

Types of Rubrics (2000) In Virtual Assessment Center. Retrieved October 25, 2008, from

Kidd, J. (2008). L7 performance assessment. Retrieved October 26, 2008, from

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