Creating and Working with Rubrics1

Aubrey L. Stoughton and Brian E. Myers 2

Creating and Working with Rubrics

Rubrics are tools created to help assess student performance in a more reliable, objective, and consistent manner. Rubrics are particularly helpful in situations where there is not always a right or a wrong way or where grading can become subjective. A rubric establishes guidelines and point values to help students understand what to expect and also helps the instructor remain consistent throughout the grading process.

When creating an assignment teachers generally consider what they would ideally see when the students complete an assignment. A rubric documents these thoughts and assesses a point value to correspond with each expectation. Rubrics are also a useful way to ensure that course assignments are consistent with course objectives and state standards.

Types of Rubric

There are two main types of rubrics: generic and task specific. Generic rubrics generally evaluate a broader spectrum of assessment where students are encouraged or expected to have more breadth in their final products, such as a agriscience fair portfolios. Task specific rubrics look at the particular behaviors to be assessed, such as the creation of a woodworking project.

Figure 1. Types of Rubrics
Figure 1.  Types of Rubrics

Under these two main categories there are two subcategories, analytic and holistic. An analytic rubric examines the individual details of a performance or assignment and focuses on the end product, such as a rubric evaluating a livestock pen design project. Teachers determine the criteria that represents high quality performance, such as functionality, convenience, durability, design rationale, and technical ability. Each of these main criteria may be comprised of specific elements which each have a corresponding point value.

A holistic rubric focuses more on process, and typically follows a "yes or no" format, evaluating whether the student completed each step in the process or not.

In the example, the assignment to administer an equine vaccine can only be passed by successfully completing each step in the process.

Creating Your Own Rubric

The main element to consider in choosing which type of rubric to use is its purpose. There are no rules to building a rubric as long as it serves the function for which it is intended. Here are a few guidelines, however, for creating a new rubric::

Step1: Make a list of the criteria for the assignment. This might include format, topics, proficiencies, steps, or any other criteria.

Step 2: Assign a point value for each criterion.

Step 3: Design a format that contains all needed student information, clearly conveys performance expectations, and makes it grade entry easy.

Step 4: Create a matrix that correlates a behavior with a point value for each competency.

There are many tools on the Internet designed to help generate rubrics and to provide examples. The following websites help teachers create their own rubrics based on content and subject:

Rubistar

http://rubistar.4teachers.org/index.php

Rubric Machine

http://landmark-project.com/rubric_builder/index.php

Figure 2. Sample Analytic Rubric
Figure 2.  Sample Analytic Rubric

Teachnology

http://www.teach-nology.com/web_tools/rubrics/

Figure 3. Sample Holistic Rubric
Figure 3.  Sample Holistic Rubric

Once you are comfortable with the general rubric design, you can also easily create your own rubric in a Word document or Excel file.

The use of rubrics allows for a greater accountability and reliability in grading and offers a structure and guidance to students as they create their projects. Working with such a tool enables teachers to quickly grade assignments and remain objective in their grading.

Figure 4. Website-Generated Rubric
Figure 4.  Website-Generated Rubric

Footnotes

1. This document is AEC388, one of a series of the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date May 2008. Reviewed April 2020. Visit the EDIS website at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.
2. Aubrey L. Stoughton, former graduate teaching and research assistant; Brian E. Myers, professor and chair, Department of Agricultural Education and Communication; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Publication #AEC388

Date: 2020-09-21
Myers, Brian E
Agricultural Education and Communication

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  • Brian Myers