Steps in Rubric Development

  1. Determine learning outcomes
  2. Keep it short and simple (Include 4 - 15 items; use brief statements or phrases)
  3. Each rubric item should focus on a different skill
  4. Focus on how students develop and express their learning
  5. Evaluate only measureable criteria
  6. Ideally, the entire rubric should fit on one sheet of paper
  7. Reevaluate the rubric (Did it work? Was it sufficiently detailed?)

Terms to use in measuring range/scoring levels

Needs Improvement...Satisfactory...Good...Exemplary

Beginning...Developing...Accomplished...Exemplary

Needs work...Good...Excellent

Novice...Apprentice...Proficient...Distinguished

Numeric scale ranging from 1 to 5, for example


After you write your first paragraph of the highest level, circle the words in that paragraph that can vary. These words will be the ones that you will change as you write the less than top level performances.

Concept words that convey various degrees of performance

Depth...Breadth...Quality...Scope...Extent...Complexity...Degrees...Accuracy

Presence to absence

Complete to incomplete

Many to some to none

Major to minor

Consistent to inconsistent

Frequency: always to generally to sometimes to rarely


Return to Rubric Module


This page by Nancy Pickett. Last updated March 31, 1999 by Bernie Dodge.