Evaluating Rubrics

Whether you create your own rubric or adapt one, you should review the finished product to evaluate its overall quality. Below you can find a meta-rubric, created by Stevens and Levi, which can be used for this purpose.

Rubric Part Evaluation Criteria Yes No
The dimensions Does each dimension cover important parts of the final student performance?

Does the dimension capture some key themes in your teaching?

Are the dimensions clear?

Are the dimensions distinctly different from each other?

Do the dimensions represent skills that the student knows something about already (e.g., organization, analysis, using conventions)?

The descriptions Do the descriptions match the dimensions?

Are the descriptions clear and different from each other?

If you used points, is there a clear basis for assigning points for each dimension?

If using a three- to five-level rubric, are the descriptions appropriately and equally weighted across levels?

The scale Do the descriptions under each level truly represent that level of performance?

Are the scale labels (e.g., exemplary, competent, beginning) encouraging and still quite informative without being negative and discouraging?

Does the rubric have a reasonable number of levels for the age of the student and the complexity of the assignment?

The overall rubric Does the rubric clearly connect to the outcomes that it is designed to measure?

Can the rubric be understood by external audiences (avoids jargon and technical language)?

Does it reflect teachable skills?

Does the rubric reward or penalize students based on skills unrelated to the outcome being measured that you have not taught?

Have all students had an equal opportunity to learn the content and skills necessary to be successful on the assignment?

Is the rubric appropriate for the conditions under which the assignment was completed?

Does the rubric address the student’s performance as a developmental task?

Does the rubric inform the student about the evaluation procedures when his or her work is scored?

Does the rubric emphasize the appraisal of individual or group performance and indicate ways to improve?

Fairness and sensibility Does it look like the rubric will be fair to all students and free of bias?

Does it look like it will be useful to students as performance feedback?

Is the rubric practical given the kind of assignment?

Does the rubric make sense to the reader?


Reprinted with permission from Stevens, D. D., & Levi, A. J. (2013). Introduction to rubrics: An assessment tool to save grading time, convey effective feedback, and promote student learning (2nd ed.). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.