1) Allen, Tanner. (2006). Rubrics—Tools for Making Learning Goals and Evaluation Criteria Explicit for Both Teachers and Learners

Rubric is “a type of matrix that provides scaled levels of achievement or understanding for a set of criteria or dimensions of quality for a given type of performance, for example, a paper, an oral presentation, or use of teamwork skills. In this type of rubric, the scaled levels of achievement (gradations of quality) are indexed to a desired or appropriate standard (e.g., to the performance of an expert or to the highest level of accomplishment evidenced by a particular cohort of students). The descriptions of the possible levels of attainment for each of the criteria or dimensions of performance are described fully enough to make them useful for judgment of, or reflection on, progress toward valued objectives” (p. 197).

There is a holistic rubric and an analytical rubric. Holistic rubrics have details (criteria and grading scales). Analytical aren’t so detailed, but they are detailed in their own way: they define precisely what needs to be done or accomplished.

“a “usable” rubric are to ask both students and colleagues to provide feedback on the first draft, particularly with respect to the clarity and gradations of the descriptions of criteria for each level of accomplishment, and to try out the rubric using past examples of student work” (p. 201). “descriptions for each level of performance provide a “real world” connection by stating the implications for accomplishment at that level” (p. 201). For example, ‘you study would convince peers and be published in a peer-review journal.’

“rubrics allow for both quantitative and qualitative analysis of student performance” (p. 202).

“can give students a clear sense of what the expectations are for a high level of performance on a given assignment, and how they can be met” (p. 203).

2) Mertler, Craig. (2001). Designing scoring rubrics for your classroom

Rubrics are rating scales—as opposed to checklists—that are specifically used with performance assessments” (p. 2). A “holistic rubric requires the teacher to score the overall process or product as a whole, without judging the component parts separately. In contrast, with an analytic rubric, the teacher scores separate, individual parts of the product or performance first, then sums the individual scores to obtain a total score” (p. 2).

2 types of rubrics

Holistic rubrics do not give much feedback to students, more summative by nature. Analytical rubrics give a lot of feedback to students and teachers alike. Because each specific performance task is assessed. “Regardless of which type of rubric is selected, specific performance criteria and observable indicators must be identified as an initial step to development” (p. 4). “If an overall, summative score is desired, a holistic scoring approach would be more desirable. In contrast, if formative feedback is the goal, an analytic scoring rubric should be used” (p. 4).

example of qualitative descriptives for rubrics

But rubrics aren’t grades. Converting rubric ratings to a grade is more subtle, more logical than numerical.  Find a system of conversion.


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