Teach the Earth > Student Learning: Observing and Assessing > Assessment Tools > Rubrics

Assessment Using Rubrics

What are Instructional Rubrics?

Rubrics are written criteria that details expectations of what students will need to know and be able to do in order to receive a given grade. Rubrics help instructors to develop clear learning objectives for their students and if provided to students prior to the activity, serve to guide their efforts.

Example Grading Rubric for Papers:

A - The paper is comprehensive and focused around a particular, clearly stated thesis (or argument). The author uses a variety of sources, including at least one contemporary periodical/newspaper article and one government document. The paper contains an original analysis and combination of information. All references are cited correctly in text and in a References Cited section. The writing is excellent.

B - The thesis or problem posed in the paper is clearly stated. There are some gaps in information and a narrow range of sources, though at least one contemporary newspaper/periodical account and one government document has been used. The paper has some original thinking but is not as well focused as an A paper. All references are cited correctly in text and in a References Cited section. The writing is good.

C - The focus of the paper is unclear. There is an over-dependence on a single source and inadequate detail on important parts of subject. Writing and organization are mediocre.

D - The focus of the paper is unclear. There is an over-dependence on a single source and inadequate detail with no analysis. Writing is mediocre to poor.

Source: Intro to Environmental Geology Writing Assignment, Prof. Mary Savina, Carleton College.

Geoscience Rubric Examples

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