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About Outcomes Rubrics

A Rubric is an evaluation tool used to deliver clear, concise, and timely feedback. Rubrics promote consistency by using the same benchmarks for rating performance or achievement. Rubrics provide a visual representation of the components being rated such as tasks and assignments. They also describe what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable levels of performance for each component’s outcome.

Rubrics are presented as a grid with criteria outlined in rows and a performance indicator scale outlined in columns. Rubrics can be numeric attaching a numbered point scale to each level of performance indicator. Non-numeric Rubrics do not have a point scale but rely on the description of each level of performance for a rating. The headers for each column and row can be defined by a user to describe the specific criteria and indicators. An inline editor is available at the intersection of each row and column so that a detailed description of what is being rated and how it is being measured can be included.

Common Uses for Rubrics

Rubrics are most commonly used for rating or scoring individual assignments within a course. When the same Rubric is used across all Sections of a course for a common assignment, students are consistently scored against the stated performance or achievement outcomes, promoting fairness, and generating data that can be used to measure larger trends across courses and Programs.

Rubrics can be attached to Portfolio Templates and Artifact Templates giving students, faculty and others a format to give and receive feedback. Rubrics are also used to demonstrate how well a Unit, Program or course is fulfilling a stated Goal. Using the same Rubric to rate all programs offered at an institution standardizes the process of program review by providing a common rating and feedback tool for committee members, administrators and outside accrediting agencies. Administrators and committee members may also use Rubrics to display how Programs relate to the Mission of the institution.

Rubric Example

The example below represents a master non-numeric Rubric for peer course review. It is associated with the course goals that have been entered into the Goals Catalog. The Rubric has six rows with different criteria and three columns with levels of performance. At the intersection of each row and column a description of how the criteria are rated is presented.

Example Rubric
  Performance Indicators
Criteria Does not meet Course Goal Meets Course Goal Exceeds Course Goal
Course Overview and Syllabus A course overview is not present or is not clear and concise and can be subject to interpretation. A standard syllabus for all sections is not used by all teaching faculty. The sequence of material covered is not similar. Assignments are not similar. Clear and concise course overview is present. Standard elements exist in the syllabus for all sections of the course. The sequence of material covered is similar. Assignments are similar. Clear and concise course overview is present and posted in course catalog and in all online courses. A standard syllabus exists and is used for all sections of the course. The sequence of material covered is similar. Assignments are similar and use a standard grading rubric.
Learning Goals Learning goals are not present or are not clear and measurable. Learning goals are present for major assignments. They are clear and measurable by using assessments. Learning goals are present for all assignments and relate to the course overview and syllabus. Assessments are based on measuring stated learning goals.
Assessment Assessment of stated learning goals does not occur in a regular and predictable way. Assessments are limited to a final exam or final project. Assessments are linked to stated learning goals and occur in a regular and predictable ways. Students can demonstrate mastery and achievement by making presentations, taking tests, and completing writing assignments. Assessments are linked to stated learning goals and measured or scored using rubrics. Students have the opportunity to demonstrate mastery and achievement of stated goals using multiple self-selected and assigned methods including presentations, research, writing, group projects, peer review, and exams.
Course Materials and Resources Course materials and resources are limited to textbook or other required reading materials and the instructor. Course materials include textbook and other reading material, audio visual or computer aided presentations, library reserve or special collections. Course resources include the instructor and other institutional professionals. Course materials include textbooks; other reading material; audio visual and computer-aided presentations; chat rooms; blogs; and discussion board, library, and special collections items. Course resources include the instructor, institutional professionals, guest speakers, and business leaders.
Learner Interaction Students participate in class question and answer sessions and may be assigned a lab partner or small group to work with on a project. Students are expected to participate in class to answer questions and lead discussions. Students are encouraged to work together and study together. At least one group project is part of the curriculum are part of class assessment. Students are expected to participate in class and may plan and lead discussions. Students work together on multiple group projects taking different roles in each. Students use discussion boards and chat tools for peer review and assessment.
Course Technology Technology used in class is limited to basic audio visual or lab equipment. Students are responsible for using the computer lab or personal computer to complete assignments. Technology used in class can include audio visual equipment, sophisticated lab equipment such as a DNA sequencer or PCR machine, and computers for making presentations. The course has a web-based component where students can use various tools to download documents, post assignments, and check schedules Technology used in class can include audio visual equipment, sophisticated lab equipment, computers for presentations, and students’ personal computers for note taking and file sharing. A rich web-based course site is available for students to share work, complete assignments, do research, and interact. How students use technology is part of student assessment.