A rubric is a great way to articulate your expectations for a project or assignment and it can help ensure consistency. A rubric clarifies for students the qualities their work should have. You can list the criteria and describe the levels of quality as you define them. The three important features to a rubric are the evaluation criteria (the elements that will be considered when grading the item), the definitions of quality (a detailed explanation of the skills or proficiencies a student must demonstrate in order to attain a level of achievement), and the scoring strategy (the scale you use related to the quality to judge the project or assignment).

Rubrics have the potential to promote learning and achievement in a student-centered approach, helping students understand the targets and the standards of quality for a particular assignment (Reddy & Andrade, 2010). You can develop your rubric to align with the course learning objectives so students can see how the assignment fits into the course goals. Blackboard offers the ability to create multiple rubrics and assign them to a variety of assignments. I usually start creating my rubric by looking at the highest and lowest points then I fill in the middle section. Break your assignment down into areas of achievement; if it is a paper, you may be looking at grammar, paper format, the topic sentence, supporting evidence, references etc. Each of these items would then be ranked based on how you grade each element and it would also include a description for what you consider to be full credit, partial credit, and no credit. You can divide the quality into as many columns as you need to define the criteria by which learning will be assessed. Rubrics provide transparency into your grading methodology.

For more information on rubrics, how to create rubrics or how to include them in your course, contact Learning Systems at or check our Learning Systems Academy video on Creating a Rubric.


Reddy, Y.M., & Andrade, H. (2010). A review of rubric use in higher education. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 35(4), 435-448.