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Loyola University Chicago

Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy


Rubric Creation and Sharing

(Adapted from http://jonathan.mueller.faculty.noctrl.edu/toolbox/rubrics.htm)

What is a Rubric?

A rubric can be defined as “a scoring scale used to assess student performance along a task-specific set of criteria” (Mueller, 2010).A rubric is a criterion-referenced measure, meaning that mastery or success is determined by how performance aligns with a set of pre-selected skills and/or knowledge.

Rubric Mechanics

As a rule, “each rubric has at least two criteria and at least two levels of performance” (2010).  A common rubric construction includes: pre-set criteria (skills and/or knowledge) listed on the left side of the grid, standards for what merits a certain level of performance in each grid cell, and levels of performance across the top of the grid. 

General rubric layout:

Assignment Title


Lowest level of performance

Progressively higher level

Highest level of performance

Criteria #1

Standards for criteria #1 at lowest level of performance

Standards for criteria #1 at second lowest level of performance

Standards for criteria #1 at highest level of performance

Criteria #2

See above

See above

See above

Criteria #3

See above

See above

See above

A very basic example rubric:

Research Report






Frequent grammatical and punctuation errors

Some grammatical and punctuation errors

Few grammatical and punctuation errors


Used fewer than 4 references

Used 4 references

Used more than 4 references

Rubrics are formative by nature; they can be strictly formative or a combination of formative and summative if grading is involved. When used for grading, the total number of points can be determined in a variety of ways, including:

Levels of Performance

Levels of performance in a rubric are used to determine how a student performed on a given skill or knowledge area. In the example rubric, the three levels of performance are “poor,” “good,” and “excellent.”  They provide:

The number of levels of performance is completely up to the rubric creator. However, the more levels are used, the more difficult it is to truly distinguish between levels and to generate descriptors for each level. Thus, it is rarely necessary to use more than 4 levels. 

Particularly with holistic rubrics, you can use levels as you would with a checklist, such as “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” or “check” or “no check” (2010).


Types of Rubrics

Analytic rubric (refer to "Research Report" rubric for an example)

Holistic rubric

 3 - Excellent Researcher

  • included 10-12 sources
  • no apparent historical inaccuracies
  • can easily tell which sources information was drawn from
  • all relevant information is included

2 - Good Researcher

  • included 5-9 sources
  • few historical inaccuracies
  • can tell with difficulty where information came from
  • bibliography contains most relevant information

1 - Poor Researcher

  • included 1-4 sources
  • lots of historical inaccuracies
  • cannot tell from which source information came
  • bibliography contains very little information

(From http://jonathan.mueller.faculty.noctrl.edu/toolbox/rubrics.htm)

After the Rubric is Completed


Mueller, J. (2010). Rubrics. Retrieved from http://jonathan.mueller.faculty.noctrl.edu/toolbox/rubrics.htmhttp://jonathan.mueller.faculty.noctrl.edu/toolbox/rubrics.htm



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