PolyLearn: More About Using Rubrics

by Tonia Malone on March 9, 2016

compass and map

“A rubric is a scoring guide: a list or chart that describes the criteria that you will use to evaluate or grade completed student assignments.” (Suskie, 2009)

Advantages of Rubrics

  • clarifies vague and fuzzy goals
  • helps students to understand expectations
  • helps student self-improve
  • improves student performance
  • makes scoring more accurate, unbiased, and consistent
  • improves feedback to students
  • reduces confusion of students

Types of Rubrics

  • Checklist: a simple list indicating the presence of items your are looking for within the assignment.
  • Rating Scale: a checklist rubric with a rating scale added to show the degree of importance.
  • Descriptive: replaces the check boxes on a rating scale with descriptive information describing each level of performance.

A Descriptive Rubric is most effective by explicitly listing your standards for the students performance.

Discussion Rubric

You can search for free descriptive rubrics at Rcampus.com.

Evaluate your Rubric

Things to consider when selecting a rubric:

  • Does the rubric relate to the outcome(s) being measured?
  • Does it address anything extraneous?
  • Does the rubric cover important dimensions of student performance?
  • Do the criteria reflect current conceptions of “excellence” in the field?
  • Are the categories or scales well-defined?
  • Is there a clear basis for assigning scores at each scale point?
  • Can the rubric be applied consistently by different scorers?
  • Can the rubric be understood by students?
  • Is the rubric developmentally appropriate?
  • Can the rubric be applied to a variety of tasks?
  • Is the rubric fair and free from bias?
  • Is the rubric useful, feasible, manageable and practical?

Retrieved from (http://business.fullerton.edu/Main/CollegeAssessment/RubricDirectory

PolyLearn’s Advance Grading Option

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.

rubric example

To learn more about PolyLearn Assignment Rubrics or rubric templates, please visit the PolyLearn support site.

Reusing Rubrics

Once you have created a rubric within your assignment, the rubric can be reused in all your PolyLearn courses. As the creator of the rubric, you can search for it within the new assignment’s advanced grading – rubric tool.

Rubric Search

Within the search, you will find your own rubrics.

Rubric Own

To learn more about reusing rubrics, please visit the PolyLearn support site. Please feel free to schedule a PolyLearn consultation with the PolyLearn Support Team.

The CTLT has also provided some writing rubrics that you can use as is or modify in your own courses. You will be able to search for these rubrics and use them as a template.

  • University Expository Writing Rubric – ULO Committee
  • General Evaluation Rubric for Papers Assignment
  • Written Communication Value Rubric



Suskie, L. (2009). Assessing Student Learning (second ed.). 989 Market Street, SF., CA: Jossey-Bass.

Goodrich-Andrade, H. (2008). Using Rubrics in Middle School Understanding Rubrics. Retrieved from https://ilearn.marist.edu/access/content/group/bb30edbb-84eb-4d65-8292-ff8ac52de2e3/Readings%20and%20Information/Andrade%201997%20rubrics.pdf

Additional Resources:

Why Rubrics?

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

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