Grading Using a “Rubric”

Middle school was when I was first exposed to the word “rubric.” I thought it was something I needed one time for whatever assignment the teacher had assigned us. Little did I know that rubrics were something that would follow me into my career.

Fast forward to today where rubrics have become an integral part of my grading and feedback. When given the opportunity, I teach an introduction to computing course. Students are assigned several lab activities to practice their skills in the Microsoft Office suite. Since students are required to follow the same directions for each assignment, I use a rubric to grade their submissions.  The rubric is comprised of the directions from the assignment and assigned point values, which are based on each individual direction.

I’ve found that using a rubric helps me keep consistent with my grading. Due to the content that I teach, I use the rubric as a checklist of items to grade the finished product. When students complete a step incorrectly, I can keep consistent in how many points I take off and provide similar feedback based on what was incorrect. Below is a rubric I’ve used before.

Description Points Possible Points Earned Comments
PUB-A Graphic Ideas      
Text boxes with graphic design ideas 15 15  
PUB-A Design Diva Gift Card      
Text added 10 10  
Name added 5 5  
PUB-B TakeOut Menu      
Gingham menu/Parrot theme 10 10  
Text changed to Come and Get It Luncheonette 5 5  
Food description added 5 5  
Your name as contact person 5 5  
Two menu items added (page 2) 6 6  
Grouped 2 objects 4 4  
PUB-B Design Diva Postcard      
Brocade layout 5 5  
Quarter Size 5 5  
Design Diva logo 5 5  
Mulberry color scheme 5 5  
Replaced text 10 10  
Name added to text box 5 5  
TOTAL 100 100  


While the rubric I have shown applies and works for my course, rubrics can be developed to fit your needs. Cornell University provides excellent information on using rubrics. For those that might be teaching on Blackboard, rubrics can also be created an associated with various gradable items.


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