TeachOnline@UW: Rubrics – Advantages and Best Practices

Types of Rubrics

Analytic Rubrics

Analytic Rubrics feature a grid of “criteria” (columns) and “levels” of achievement (rows). The instructor assigns points or weights to particular criteria, and then evaluates student performance in each area. This is useful in providing feedback on areas of strength and weakness. Because of this, analytic rubrics take more time to develop than a holistic rubric.  See example of an analytic rubric.

Analytic rubrics are particularly useful for problem-solving or application assessments because a rubric can list a different category for each component of the assessment that needs to be included, thereby accounting for the complexity of the task. For example, a rubric for a research paper could include categories for organization, writing, argument, sources cited, depth of content knowledge, and more. A rubric for a presentation could include categories related to style, organization, language, content, etc. Students benefit from receiving rubrics because they learn about their relative strengths and weaknesses.

What are the advantages of using an analytic rubric?  Evaluate the following statements.

Holistic Rubrics

Holistic Rubrics describe characteristics of each level of performance for an assignment or activity overall (e.g. characteristics of an excellent research paper). See an example of a holistic rubric.

Holistic rubrics are best to use when there is no single correct answer or response and the focus is on overall quality, proficiency, or understanding of a specific content or skills.

What are the advantages of using a holistic rubric?  Evaluate the following statements.

You want to assign a score based on an overall judgement of your students’ work. Would you choose an analytic rubric or a holistic rubric?

You want to assign points based on achievement level for several criteria. Would you choose an analytic or a holistic rubric?


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