Rubrics to the Rescue

Rubric Pro and Con


  • Rubrics are powerful tools for assessment and instruction.
  • They provide students with clear expectations for assignments, plus they give concrete details about how to obtain a particular score.
  • Students may learn from rubrics in ways that they can't learn from a letter grade (such as teacher's expectations and standards of excellence).
  • Rubrics define what quality entails.
  • They are quick, objective, and efficient.
  • Rubrics make justifying scores to parents or students much less tedious.
  • The gradations on a rubric allow students to identify their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Rubrics provide students with detailed feedback about an assignment.
  • Students become more objective and thoughtful judges of their own quality of work and the quality of their classmate's work.
  • A teacher is able to "stretch" a rubric to reflect the work of learning support students and the gifted students.
  • If you must assign a grade letter to rubrics, it is easy to do if you have a gradation scale of 4-5. The highest score (4 or 5) score would equal an A.
  • Rubrics provide teachers with benchmarks to incorporate in measuring and documenting student progress.
  • Rubrics require teachers to clarify their focus, expectations, standards, and goals.
  • Rubrics allow teachers to assess skills that may fall outside the traditional testing data field.
  • When shared with students prior to an assignment, rubrics can be very motivational.


  • Rubrics do require an initial investment of your time. But once they are completed, they are easily adaptable to various grade levels, subject areas, and specific assignments.
  • Articulating the gradations of the rubric is sometime challenging. Some have recommended thinking of the words "yes", "yes - but", "no-but", and "no" to create your gradations.
  • You may notice that your students ask for rubrics for all assignments. They like knowing what is expected and how to achieve high markings.

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