Steps for Designing Assignment-Specific Analytical Rubric
- Review the intended outcomes of the assignment. What do you want students to gain from doing this assignment? Or, what skills or mastery should they be able to demonstrate by completing this assignment? Another way to think about this is: what do you expect in these papers? It’s important to be specific and to prioritize your expectations. It’s very difficult to grade if you’ve left out a major component that you expect the papers to contain!
- Translate these into the criteria by which the student work will be evaluated. Keep criteria to between 5-10, fewer if applicable, but not more than 10.
- Decide how many levels of proficiency you want to include. For example, three (3): weak, satisfactory or strong, or five (5) based on grades A-F.
- Determine the relative weight of each criterion. Some rubrics list the points for each level of quality, and these can vary from criterion to criterion. If you’re using a checklist approach, weight need not be indicated.
- Now write out the descriptions for each level. What specific features will an A paper’s thesis have? What will an A paper contain in terms of the evidence used to support the thesis? For each criterion and each level, you must describe how a student’s paper will appear as specifically as possible. Sometimes it’s best to describe the best possible paper in all its facets first, and then describe the worst possible paper. Then fill in intermediate levels. I prefer starting at the best level and then thinking down a level for each criterion. Other people start at the bottom end and work their way up, even including phrases such as “includes the previous box plus has xyz.”