From E-Learning Faculty Modules


Module Summary

Rubrics are an useful tool to evaluate student's work and instructors can clearly communicate to students what their expectations are for an assignment.


Learners will learn:

  • What is a Rubric?
  • Types of Rubric
  • Benefits of Using Rubrics
    • For Instructors
    • For Students
  • Use of Rubrics
  • Constructing a Rubric
  • Examples of Rubric

Main Contents

What is a Rubric?

Rubrics are a guideline to assess student's work by instructors in a course. Rubrics can be simple or complex with a few or several criteria’s adding up to a score. Rubrics are beneficial for both students and instructors. Students can use the rubric as a guide to complete assignments and know what to expect on how an instructor will be grading the assignment. Instructors can ensure objectivity in their grading. For an e-learning course, a rubric can also be used for assessing student participation and not only assignments.

Types of Rubrics

Rubrics can be Holistic or Analytic. Holistic Rubrics are generic and measure the overall performance of a student versus an Analytic Rubric where each performance is assessed and summed up to arrive at a total score. Since Holistic Rubrics are an overall assessment (summative), it is quicker to grade an assignment but the overall assessment is not specific. Analytic Rubrics are preferred because they offer a more detailed assessment of student’s work and assessment is done on several defined criteria's by the instructor.

Benefits of using Rubrics for Instructors

  • Assess students work objectively based on defined criteria’s
  • The assessment is standardized
  • Beneficial for subjective assignments
  • Provides clear feedback to students on their performance
  • Save time

Benefits for Students

  • Students work better when each expectation is listed
  • Students work exceptionally well with knowledge on how they will be assessed
  • Students can access their own proficiency based on the different criteria’s

Use of Rubrics:

  • Writing Papers
    • Research work
    • Reflective work
    • Essays
    • Self Evaluation
  • Collaboration Assignments
    • Student Group Work
    • Peer Evaluation
    • Wiki
    • Blog
    • Twitter
  • Discussions
    • Message Board,
    • Chat Room,
    • Wimba Classroom
    • Other Web 2.0 technologies
  • Multimedia Projects
    • Video
    • Podcast
    • Web page
    • eportfolio
  • Games and Simulation
    • Second Life

Constructing a Rubric

It takes time to decide on the different criteria’s you want to assess students for an assignment and construct a rubric but it will save time later when you grade them.

Rubrics are often represented in a table format. Different criteria’s evaluate or measure activity/category/objectives against a scale with points ranging from highest to minimal proficiency (1-5 points, excellent-poor, exemplary-unsatisfactory, etc) to measure if the activity/category or objective is being met by students. Optional: A column can be added on the rubric for students to add their own points. Students can print out the rubric to keep track of their learning.


  • Example from Dr. Sue William's course ____________________________________

2011.02.05 Rubric My Life Digital.jpg

Possible Pitfalls

Not having a rubric attached to each assignment in a course can possibly create confusion for students on how to earn their points for an assignment. Rubrics require time to build but allow for objective assessment.

Extra Resources

Sample Rubric for Online Discussion Participation -

Landmark Project -

Read Write Think Project (collaborative work skills rubric) -