Learning Services

Rubrics for course assessment

As part of our commitment to helping Sauder faculty create excellent teaching and learning experiences, Learning Services is pleased to offer dedicated support for rubrics as part of the assessment and course design process. 

What is a rubric?

A rubric is a tool to aid in marking by setting clear expectations in advance of receiving the work from students. A rubric can be holistic or analytic depending on what is needed. Holistic rubrics consider the entire piece of student work as a whole, while an analytic rubric breaks the marking down into independently assessed components. Rubrics go beyond a marking guide by not just listing criteria to be judged, but also by providing clear examples of what each level of achievement looks like. 

Rubrics speak to the student, rather than the instructor or marker. 

Why use a rubric?

A rubric helps ground the marking process in clear expectations for each aspect of the assignment. This requires an up-front time commitment in describing aspect, what success looks like for each aspect, and what score or marks will be attributed. This up-front commitment pays off during the actual marking as the basic judgements have already been made. If you are having TAs or Markers mark your students’ work, or are team-marking an assignment with colleagues, rubrics can help get everyone using the same language and standards on an assignment. 

Rubrics become a powerful part of the student learning process by creating a shared knowledge of expectations. When a student sees the rubric for an assignment, they can see precisely what dimensions require improvement, and what such improvement would look like. When used as part of formative assessments, this shows students paths to learning and success. 

Canvas support

Canvas supports adding rubrics to your assignments. Select the scores in your rubric online, and the total automatically pushes to the gradebook as the assignment score.

If you’d like to learn more or look at some self-serve resources to get started, go to Self Serve Rubric Support page.

If you have questions, or would like to discuss further, contact Peter Lukasik, Educational Assessment Specialist, or drop by our office in HA 451.

Ask us anything

Connect with one of our team members in-person or virtually.