Characteristics & Development of Rubrics as Tools of Assessment 

Characteristics & Development of Rubrics as Tools of Assessment

A rubric can be considered as an assessment tool that indicates clearly achievement criteria across all the components of any kind of student work, from written to oral to visual. It can be used for marking assignments, class participation, or overall grades. 

Brookhart defines rubric as,

“coherent set of criteria for students’ work that includes descriptions of levels of performance quality on the criteria.”


Types of Rubrics

There are two types of rubrics:

  • Holistic
  • Analytical.

Holistic Rubrics

It refers to single criteria rubrics that are one-dimensional in nature. These rubrics are used for assessing the overall achievement of the participants on an activity or item according to the predefined achievement levels.  The descriptions of the performance are usually written in full sentences and paragraphs.

Analytic Rubrics

This type of rubrics refers to two-dimensional rubrics with columns representing levels of achievement and rows representing assessment criteria. It helps you in assessing the achievements of participants using a single rubric but based on multiple criteria. Different weights or value can be assigned to different criteria and overall achievement can be included by totaling the criteria. It is mostly written in a table form

Characteristics of Rubrics as Tools of Assessment

The characteristics of rubrics as tools of assessment are as follows: 

Evaluative Criteria

It is used to represent the dimensions based on which the evaluation of the student’s activity or artifact occurs. 

Quality Definitions

It consists of qualitative descriptions which helps in differentiating the performance of students for a given criterion across a continuum.

Scoring Strategy

The scoring strategy involves the articulation of the process of converting the student performance’s qualitative evaluations related to reach criterion into an overall judgment.

Development of Rubrics as Tools of Assessment  

The development of rubrics as a tools of assessment takes place in the following manner: 

Learning Objective

The skills and knowledge to evaluate which assignment has been designed must be assessed. 

Performance Criteria

The observable criteria must represent those skills and knowledge. 

Performance Levels

The best way you can use to divide the criteria for distinct representation and meaningful levels of student performance must be determined. 

Performance Level Descriptors

The observable characteristics which enable a teacher to differentiate between the performance level of students for each criterion must be determined. 

Addressing all of these factors can help one in the development of rubrics as a tool of assessment effectively and efficiently. Stevens & Levi, 2005, state,

“As a grading tool, rubrics can address these and other issues related to assessment: they reduce grading time; they increase objectivity and reduce subjectivity; they convey timely feedback to students and they improve students’ ability to include required elements of an assignment.

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