This quick guide provides directions and options related to level structure and assignment of point values for rubrics that reduce grade creep – See Updating Rubrics to Prevent Grade Inflation – and increase reliability and efficiency of marking (Chowdhury, 2018).
(Stay tuned for a series of Quick Guides to support rubric development from start to finish!)
For assessment criteria that are subjective and are linked to qualitatively variable student performance, a “5+2 Level” rubric structure can be effective. Additionally, Conestoga’s Grading Procedure supports this structure.
Note: It is best if you have already determined the criteria to be evaluated for the given assessment before moving to Step 1 below.
Set up the rubric structure as follows:
Note that there is a distinct Incomplete (Zero) level, Exceptional (Perfect) level and a clearly defined Acceptable (PASS) level.
In eConestoga’s Rubric Tool, the orientation of the levels (i.e. left to right) can easily be changed using the “Reverse Level Order” in the top menu.
Recall the pass grade (i.e. 55%, or 65%, etc.) of the course that the rubric belongs to. This is necessary to ensure point values are numerically accurate. If you are unsure of the pass grade for the course, refer to the Course Outline.
Determine the total point value appropriate for each criterion in the rubric.
Consider the following items here:
- You do not need to have the total points for the rubric sum to a specific number (for example, the weighted percentage of the assessment).
- Select point values for each criterion that make sense from the perspective of learning outcome alignment and overall impact/value to the assessment. For example, the greater the alignment with a given learning outcome, the higher the point value.
- Assign smaller points values for those criteria that are deemed important but not directly aligned with learning outcomes (e.g. Readability and Referencing).
- Select point values that are multiples of 5 (see below) and consider having a maximum value for a given criterion to be 20 points.
- In the eConestoga Rubric Tool, it can be helpful to select “Custom Points” in the Scoring drop-down in the top menu. This provides the opportunity to add a different total point value for each criterion as needed.
Use the following charts – Available in downloadable PDF here – to set up your chosen point values for each criterion.
For a 55% passing course grade:
Important to Note:
- The single, bolded number in each cell can be used to set the point value for the level in the eConestoga Rubric Tool. This will be the default point value assigned when that level is selected while grading.
- The range provided (non-bolded numbers) is optional and most effective when faculty are prepared to override the default point value (above) while grading in eConestoga. If a range is going to be included, it can be written into the top line of the description box for that cell. Including a range provides a greater opportunity for point differentiation within a particular level.
These above notes also apply for the charts below.
For a 60% passing grade:
For a 65% passing grade:
For a 70% passing grade:
For support with rubric development, or in development of any other grading tools, please reach out to Teaching and Learning.
Chowdhury, F. (2018). Application of Rubrics in the Classroom: A Vital Tool for Improvement in Assessment, Feedback and Learning. International Education Studies; 12(1), 2019.