Instructor Support for Educational Systems

How do I use Rubrics?

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What is a Rubric?

The Rubrics tool is used to evaluate an activity or item based on a predefined set of criteria. They help ensure that activities and items are evaluated fairly and consistently. The Rubrics tool allows you to create analytic rubrics (multiple criterion) or holistic rubrics (one criterion).

Why use a Rubric?

Use the Rubrics tool to:

  • Develop a matrix that will be used for assessment.
  • Ensure consistency when assessing students.
  • Provide expectations and assessment requirements prior to assessment.
  • Justify and communicate evaluations of students.
  • Define what is considered quality by adding detailed descriptors.

Types of Rubrics and Scoring Method

A rubric can be holistic or analytic, depending on the requirements for assessment. In Brightspace there are two types of rubrics. 

You can assess rubrics with textual performance levels such as, "Excellent", or with text and numeric score such as, "Excellent (90 points)". There are several ways to score a rubric. 

Below is an explanation on the types of Rubrics and the available scoring method per type of rubric.

Analytic Rubric

Most rubrics are analytic. An analytic rubric breaks up performance into multiple criteria. You assess each criterion separately, resulting in an overall assessment score.

For example, an analytic rubric for assessing essays could have separate criterion for spelling, grammar, and expression. Each criterion can be assessed as poor, good, or excellent, resulting in an overall assessment that adequately evaluates performance.

Scoring Methods for Analytic Rubrics

Text Only
Performance levels indicated by Text Only. For example, three performance levels for a rubric can be "Poor", "Good", or "Excellent."

This function is similar to Text Only, but includes points to assess performance. For example, three performance levels for a rubric can be "Poor (0 points)", "Good (75 points)", or "Excellent (125 points)."

Custom Points
The Custom Points scoring method is similar to the Points scoring method, but you can customize the points given for each criterion. For example, if performance levels are "Poor", "Good", and "Excellent", then the criterion "Spelling and Grammar" can be worth 0 points, 10 points, and 20 points for each level, and the criterion "Expression" can be worth 0 points, 30 points, and 60 points, making it worth three times the points of "Spelling and Grammar".

Example of a Analytic Rubric:

Holistic Rubric

Holistic rubrics do not break performance into separate criteria. Performance is assessed holistically, so that you consider several different criteria, but make only one overall assessment.

Scoring Methods for Holistic Rubrics

Text Only

Performance levels indicated by Text Only. For example, three performance levels for a rubric can be "Poor", "Good", or "Excellent."

A holistic rubric using Percentages can be automatically assessed based on the score of its associated item (for example, an assignment)

Example of a Holistic Rubric:

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