IRubric Best Practices

From RCampus Wiki
Revision as of 21:45, 3 February 2023 by Admin2 (talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search

This document attempts to summarize best practices in building a rubric in general, as well as building a rubric with iRubric studio.

Find a rubric in iRubric Gallery

The easiest way to start a rubric is to find a rubric that meets your needs in rubric gallery and copy it to your area.

Levels / Columns

  • Enter a title for the proficiency level or level of excellence on top of each column. Common titles are "Unacceptable" or "Not Done", "Poor", "Fair", "Good", Excellent"
  • Use simple single digits for the weight of each column (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, ...). See below for more tips.
  • Adding a column for "Your score" or "Comments" is not necessary. iRubric automatically adds a column for comments during grading and also calculates the scores automatically.

Criteria Rows

  • Keep the criteria as specific as possible. I.e. Don't combine multiple criteria into one if possible.
  • Keep the criteria short. If more room needed to describe the criteria, click on "expand" for more instructions.


  • Use sections to group related criteria. For example, a "Writing" section can include criteria for "Grammar", "Punctuations", "Structure".
  • Do NOT use a single section for each criteria. It makes the rubric hard to read for students.

Don't get creative with points and weights

Try to use the simplest point system (e.g. poor=1, fair=2, good=3, and excellent=4). Another common practice is to start at 0 points (e.g. not done=0, poor=1, fair=2, good=3, and excellent=4). That's a sure way to confuse students. Try to use single digit points and, if possible, weights.

Common errors:

  • Column weights of 10, 20, 30, 40 or 0, 0.5, 1, 1.5 are calculated the same as 1, 2, 3, 4. Use 1, 2, 3, 4.
  • Keep the weights objective. Removing the weight and entering subjective column weight may defeat the purpose. Subjective column weights are Poor=1-5 points, Good=6-10 points, etc.
  • Do NOT try to make the weight add up to a specific number (e.g. 100 points). iRubric does the calculation for you. For example, do not try to make the column weights 60, 70, 80, and 90 points. 6, 7, 8 9 works the same.
  • Criteria weights: Do not enter the same weight for all criteria. All criteria have the same weight of 1 by default. There is no need to enter a number again.

Rubric descriptors should describe ...

Use rubric descriptors to:

  • Describe your expectations of students for each level.
  • Describe how students will be graded. Try to be precise.
  • Do NOT include feedback to students in the descriptor area in form of the response they would get after grading is done. For example, this is considered feedback "Haven't done enough, resubmit your work." Instead, describe what "not enough" means. Students should see the rubric prior to an assignment completion. "Resubmit your work" does not describe what needs to be done (i.e. your expectations).