Creating and Using Rubrics

Make Your Life Easier With Rubrics

A+ Grade. Thomas J Peterson/ Photographer's Choice RF/ Getty Images

Rubrics can be defined as a simplified way to grade a complicated assignment. For example, when you are grading an essay, how do you decide whether it gets an A or a B? What about if you are assigning number grades to the essay? What's the difference between a 94 and a 96? The times that I have graded without a rubric, I have typically relied on the subjective method of reading and ranking. I read each essay and rank them in order from best to worst.

Usually when I'm knee deep in essays, I begin to wonder why I did this to myself. The easy answer, of course, is that it seems much easier to avoid the extra work required to create a rubric. However, the time saved up front is more than lost while grading.

Here are three reasons why I find rubrics truly effective. First, rubrics save time because I can simply look at your rubric and mark off points. Second, rubrics keep me honest, even when I've had a horrible day and my cat won't leave me alone. I feel much more objective as I sit before my mountain of papers. More important than these two reasons, however, is that when I have created a rubric beforehand and shown it to my students I get better quality work. They know what I want. They can also see right away where they lost points.

How to Write a Rubric

Writing a rubric is a fairly easy process even though it takes a little time. However, as I've already explained, the time is worth it.

I've created step-by-step instructions for writing rubrics for any assignment you give.

Examples of Rubrics

Here are some wonderful rubrics that you can adapt and use today!