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Tool: Choosing a type of rubric

"Rubrics" come in a wide range of types. This tool is intended to help you select a type of rubric for a given situation. What kind of rubric would suit (a) the standard or objective you're working on, (b) the performance or product to be rated and (c) the use to be made of the ratings (for example, to give feedback to students, to set a grade or both)?

How about a rubric like this?
Or perhaps a rubric like this?

Holistic. Uses only one general descriptor for each level of the performance considered as a whole.


Trait-analytic. Identifies important aspects of the performance and constructs descriptors for each level of performance for each aspect.


Generic. Uses criteria that could apply to a wide range of tasks in many subjects and situations.



Specific. Uses criteria that apply particularly to a given genre of work, a given topic or subject matter or a particular kind of task.

Focused. Focuses on an event which is described in terms of the particulars of that  task, content or context.



Longitudinal. Marks progress over time toward a more general  mastery of objectives

Adapted from Wiggins, G. (1998). Educative assessment: Designing assessments to inform and improve student performance. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

See a sample rubric for an elementary writing assignment.

PDF version for printing .... RTF version for revising