TeachOnline@UW: Rubrics – Advantages and Best Practices

Final Thoughts and Resources

In addition to being aids in assessing student performances, rubrics, if done well, can help instructors track student progress and can help students understand what it is they are to learn. Rubrics can also expedite the grading process and make it seem more objective and fair to students.

Keep in mind:

  • Rubrics and scoring guides come in different flavors–holistic and analytic, task-specific and general; all are viable if used well.
  • Not all learning activities require a rubric. Rubrics are most useful for complex learning such as reasoning, performance skills, and products.

With this is mind, it is your turn to find a rubric that would be useful for one of your course assignments. If you would like to try creating a rubric for your course, go to the “Optional Activity: Rubric Exploration” page at the end of this module.


  • Canvas has a rubric that can be linked to assignments and grades. This Canvas guide walks instructions through the process of creating rubric in 20 minutes. More details are provided in this rubric overview video.
  • UW-Madison Canvas instance only: Import rubrics from Google Sheets or Excel using the Import Rubric button.
  • Use this template and guide to develop your rubric and calculate points for the Canvas Rubric tool (or any rubric) to correlate with your grading scheme.
  • There are also a variety of grading scales you can use for rubrics, as shared by Brown University
  • WikiPODia on Rubrics provides a comprehensive explanation of rubrics along with many examples and resources.
  • Use this Rubric for Rubrics guide to evaluate rubrics. This rubric describes a well-written rubric, distinguishing between rubrics that meet, approach, or are below standards for selection of criteria, distinction between levels, and quality of writing. This rubric may be used to assess the quality of a rubric that you find or one that you or a colleague has developed to make it more effective to assess an assignment to tailor it to your needs.

Where to Find Rubrics Galore:

You do not need to develop rubrics from scratch. Many great rubrics have already been created and shared that you can modify for your needs. Here are a few places you can search for thousands of rubrics.

  • Rcampus Rubric Gallery: See “Free Rubrics” – Over 380,000 public rubrics by grade level, subject, and type. Use the rubric search tool to find rubrics with specific keywords or grade level.
  • Find an already-exported set of rubrics like the ones in this Google File.

    • Follow the directions in the README file.
  • Other instructors are usually very willing to share.
    • Search for rubrics that we organized just for you using a social bookmarking tool called Diigo. Search by subject or type of rubric (rubrics AND case study, discussion, etc.). View TeachOnline@UW Rubrics on Diigo.


Rubrics: Advantages and Best Practices Copyright © by Karen Skibba. All Rights Reserved.