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Understanding assessment rubrics

Many university assessments will give you an assessment rubric with the assessment instructions.

Assessment rubrics

An assessment rubric contains six kinds of information:

  1. The criteria – elements of the task that you need to include
  2. The descriptors – a detailed description of the criteria at a particular level of performance
  3. Elements of the criteria
  4. The weightings – an indication of how important each task is
  5. Levels of performance
  6. Words which show the progression of performance.
Watch the following screencast for further details on how to interpret rubrics

Your assessment rubric

Unpack your assessment rubric using these steps:

  • Read the rubric for your assessment
  • Become familiar with it and ask your lecturers anything you don’t understand
  • Refer to the rubric as you do your assessment
  • Before you hand in your assessment, use the rubric to judge your own work (if you have time make changes)

When you get your assessment back use the marked rubric to understand your assessment feedback.

Why should I bother understanding the rubric?

  • It tells you what is in the lecturer’s head and what he or she expects
  • It informs you of what ‘Excellent’ looks like
  • It allows you to judge your work before you hand it in
  • It helps to turn your assessment into a learning event rather than just a measurement of what you know or can do
  • It provides the basis for the feedback you get when your assessment is marked
  • It assures that the lecturer’s marking is more consistent