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Teacher feedback: Clear assessment criteria with Rubrics

Brief description

A Rubric is a management tool which presents the framework for the assessment criteria for the upcoming assignment and which students may use while answering the assignment. The tool is constructed by the teacher and makes explicit specific learning outcomes and expectations to the concrete assignment so as to ensure consistent assessment. It may also form the basis of feedback once the students have submitted their products.

Motivation for the exercise and required outcome

Research shows that visible and clear learning objectives are important navigation tools in the students’ learning process. Working with Rubrics helps to clarify and increase the students’ understanding as to where and when they should invest their energy, as well as which strategies and ways of thinking they need to use to achieve their goals. For teachers, Rubrics have the advantage that they can be used to provide faster and more consistent assessment and feedback on students’ assignments.

Performing the exercise

As a teacher you must create a Rubric for the concrete assignment based on the learning objectives that are relevant for the course. Creating Rubrics may be time-consuming for the teacher the first time they do so, but it is very likely that they can be reused. A simple Rubric consists of four parts:

  • type of submitted work (presentation, poster, written assignment etc.)

  • expectations regarding student participation in activities (e.g. group collaboration during and outside of scheduled teaching sessions)

  • possible requirements regarding the use of certain tools

  • An assignment description containing information about:

  • A scale describing to which extent the submitted work meets the different objectives. Level formulations must be precise and may consist of: High level, average level, beginner level or accomplished, capable and beginner. There are no rules as to how many grading scale steps a Rubric should contain. Numbers or grades may also be used, of course.

  • Knowledge and understanding 20%

  • Thinking and exploration 20%

  • Communication 20%

  • Use of visual aids 20%

  • Presentation skills 20%
  • A list of learning objectives prepared on the basis of the concrete learning outcome requirements for the course. No rules apply as to how many learning objectives a Rubric may contain, but it may appear as follows in weighted percentages:

You may also specify the criteria in order of priority if they do not carry equal weight in the assessment.

  • A level description which makes it clear what is required to reach different levels in the scale. Describe the highest level of performance on the basis of the quality of the exemplary assignment in relation to achieving the concrete learning objectives. Then describe the remaining lower levels in the scale. Here you must consider what the students should learn from answering the assignment, and how they can “demonstrate” that they have done so in their submission.


  • You may invite the students to make suggestions regarding the content of the concrete Rubric, based on the academic regulations. In this way, you can involve the students directly in the activity and better combine the exercise with peer feedback.
  • You may show the students examples of good assignment responses linked to the Rubric or let them use the Rubric in question on a good previous response.
  • Rubrics may also be used in connection with assessment and peer feedback given by the students.
  • In Brightspace, Rubrics may be used in combination with the Assignment tool.


    Examples of practice

      Teaching plans

      Under development

      Worth considering

      • How much time will you as a teacher need to explain your Rubric to the students? Even if Rubric contains an assignment description, the students may still need to ask questions.