Rubrics in PolyLearn

by Tonia Malone on March 18, 2015


“A rubric is a coherent set of criteria for students’ work that includes descriptions of levels of performance quality on the criteria.” (Brookhart, n.d.)

Why Rubrics?

Rubrics are a popular assessment tool because they can provide consistency, structure, and efficiency to the grading process. Rubrics can provide several benefits for the student and teacher:

  • They make criteria explicit to students by providing specific primary traits and descriptions of performance. Matching the students’ work to the descriptions in the rubric provides consistency throughout the assignment grades and imparts clear feedback for the students.
  • When provided at the beginning of the assignment, rubrics can serve as excellent guidelines for students as they develop their own projects. Rubrics help students understand what is needed for an “A.”
  • They help focus instruction. The act of creating a rubric can help instructors determine what is most essential to focus on in order to support student work.
  • They can help to isolate specific features of student work for praise or for additional instruction.
  • They can be tailored to fit task-specific assignments.
  • They are useful for “norming” assessment and ensuring “inter-rater reliability” with multiple graders.

Finding, Developing & Customizing Rubrics

The web is teeming with rubrics for nearly every kind of assignment. While it is fairly easy to find an existing rubric for your assignment, it is important to review the performance criteria within the rubric and to modify it to fit your assignment’s needs. Please feel free to schedule a consultation with one of our CTLT staff members for assistance with writing or tailoring a rubric.

PolyLearn Rubrics

Once you have created a rubric specific to your assignment, you can add it to your PolyLearn course. PolyLearn (Moodle) Rubrics are connected to the Assignment activity. The rubrics consist of a set of criteria for each specification. A numerical grade is assigned to each of these levels. The grader chooses which level answers/describes the given criterion best. The raw rubric score is calculated as a sum of all criteria grades. The final grade is calculated by comparing the actual score with the worst/best possible score that could be received.

To learn more about PolyLearn Assignment Rubrics or rubric templates, please visit the PolyLearn support site. Please feel free to schedule a PolyLearn consultation with the PolyLearn Support Team.


Additional Resources:

Rubistar, an online rubric generator site with many examples

The University of San Francisco – a simplified tutorial on creating rubrics

L.A. Valley College’s page on holistic and analytic rubric development


Brookhart, S. (n.d.). Chapter 1. What Are Rubrics and Why Are They Important? Retrieved 16 March 2015, from¢.aspx

Rubrics. (n.d.-a). Retrieved 3 February 2015, from

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