What is a rubric and how do you develop one?

Rubrics are assessment tools developed to help evaluate qualitative data or assignments by providing a specific set of criteria to be rated and specific details about what is needed to achieve each level of performance for each criterion. Rubrics typically have ratings of 1 to 2 or 4 with labels (unacceptable to excellent or undeveloped to mastered).

There are many rubrics that have already been developed for various learning goals and outcomes that are publicly available. Your program might want to start with an established rubric already being used in your discipline, but then alter the rubric to fit your specific program. Another good place to start is to check out the Association of American Colleges & University's (AAC&U's) VALUE (Value Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education) Rubrics, which have been widely vetted. The rubrics can be downloaded at http://www.aacu.org/value-rubrics. Again, these rubrics can be altered to fit the needs of your specific program.

For assistance starting a rubric from scratch, see Rubistar.

The following book is a good introduction to rubrics:

Stevens, D. D. & Levi, A. J. (2005). Introduction to rubrics: An assessment tool to save grading time, convey effective feedback, and promote student learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.