Writing Effective Rubrics

Effective rubric design is key to encouraging students to provide constructively critical reviews and producing assignments with strong Reliability Ratings.

In Peerceptiv, a Reviewing Dimension is a conceptual element of that assignment, and is made up of one Commenting Prompt for qualitative feedback and at least one Rating Rubric for quantitative feedback.

The scale for Rating Rubrics goes from 1-low to 7-high. Peerceptiv requires that all Rating Rubrics provide rating descriptors, called Rating Anchors, for at least 1 and 7, but good practice requires anchors for at least 4 values.

Keep the following in mind as you design the Rating Rubric and create your Rating Anchors.

  1. Encourage a spread of ratings across the scale, making it truly difficult for students to justify a rating of 7.
  2. Use concrete terms (e.g. The paper provides necessary definitions clearly and consistently) rather than generic descriptors (e.g., Good, Poor) in your Rating Rubrics.
  3. Each Rating Rubrics should represent a single course concept or principle for assessment. It is better to have two different Rating Rubrics when having students assess two different features of the assignment.
  4. Keep your explanations for the Ratings concise. If you enter long explanations for all 7 levels, this will be hard to read. Some instructors use sentence-long anchors for levels 1,3,5,7 and put number anchors only for 2,4,6.  In this model, students naturally interpolate in between values.
  5. If you leave a middling entry blank, the scale will omit that level entirely. For example, if you only put values in 1,3,5,7 with the rest blank, then students will have a 4-point scale.
  6. Use a spread of ratings across the scale of 1-7. For example, if you wish to use a 4-point scale, do not just pick 1,2,3,7 because that will give very strange average scores. It is better to use 1,3,5,7.
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