Rubrics for QW Assignments

Initial Publication Date: June 24, 2010
Students will do better work if they know in advance the criteria you will use to grade their papers. Spelling out these criteria and placing them into a simple scoring guide will let students know what you are looking for and will speed up your own grading process. Rubrics can take a variety of forms including:
  • Comprehensive matrices listing each assessment element with detailed descriptions of poor, good, better, and best.
  • Inventories of of evaluation criteria to be graded "check, plus, minus."
  • Lists of broader statements identifying the different performance levels, either with numbers or verbal descriptors.
Rubrics can be used to tally points that determine the ultimate grade or they can be used with holistic grading to provide detailed feedback without extensive comment writing. What follows are some examples:
  • Jean Mach and Michael Burke at the College of San Mateo have devised this rubric for the essays in their "Tools for Thought" courses.
  • At Carleton, the Quantitative Inquiry, Knowledge and Reasoning Program (QuIRK) has devised a rubric for evaluating quantitative writing (Microsoft Word 71kB Dec7 09). This scoring guide distinguishes between "peripheral" and "central" uses of quantitative elements in student papers. Readers assess how the student employs, implements, communicates and interprets these quantitative elements.