February Bulletin: Rubrics

Rubrics and Equity

Rubrics, when constructed and implemented well, foster transparency in instructors learning objectives, create a structured mechanism to provide feedback on assignments, and enhance equity in the learning experiences. In spite of the benefits of using course and assignment rubrics, there can be confusion and misconceptions on their importance and in what way they can be of use. The below resources provide guidance on constructing effective rubrics that promote equity in grading, transparency in expectations, and how they can be a strategy against grade inflation.

*** CETL will be sponsoring a two part workshop in April focused on rubrics. More information will be available soon. ****

Quick Tips and Take-Aways

  • Shy away from viewing rubrics as “giving it away”
  • Instead, try to envision rubrics as a way of sharing your vision of academic excellence
  • Have a clear understanding of what type of rubric you are using, and what purpose it serves.


A Successful Rubric Should…

  • Spell out explicit expectations — outline often unspoken assumptions of academic culture
  • Show the most robust and minimal ways that students can complete an assignment
  • Promote democratic grading — clear expectations of what type of work constitutes a certain grade will alleviate issues of bias in the classroom
  • Avoid terms that are unclear – be specific! Avoid stand-alone terms such as “excellent, satisfactory” and instead be precise with expectations.


The Foundations of Effective Rubrics – Links to Resources

Creating and Using Rubrics

  • Types of rubrics
  • How to develop rubrics
  • Benefits of using rubrics

Best Practices for Creating Effective Rubrics

  • Benefits and best practices for using rubrics

Rubric Repair- 5 Changes that Get Results

  • 5 changes that can increase rubric effectivity and equity

Additional Reading & Resources

Leveling the Field – Using Rubrics to Achieve Greater Equity in Teaching and Grading

Teaching with Rubrics- the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Equity and Assessment Resource

Grade Inflation in the College Classroom

  • Argument for how effective rubrics can be used to curb issues of grade inflation

Share Drive- AACU VALUE Rubrics, Rubrics PDF

  • Please read the permission statement provided by AAC&U for distribution of their materials, below.
  • Additional information found on AAC&U website found here.