The IDEAL – Topic: Assessment Rubrics

Icon of section IDEAL (Instructional Designer's Evolution through Analytical Learning)- Creative Agni ezine.

What is an Assessment Rubric?

Training Learning Cartoon Humor - Coffeebeans does not need the Assessment Rubric

Before I explain this apparently bulky term, let us answer the following two questions.

Question 1. What is 2 + 2 =?

  1. 52
  2. 4
  3. -24
  4. 2

Question 2. Illustrate the foot-in-mouth disease with two examples from international politics?


The answer to the first question is b, which is 4. You can either get it wrong, or you can get it right

So, the question is an objective one and if you don’t answer it correctly and end up with a zero, you’ll accept your mistake and try to do better next time. However, when you answer the second question, and you get a 2 out of 10, you’d like to know why. You may wonder whether the assessment was fair or whether the instructor was getting back at you because you drew his cartoons and passed them around in the class.

An assessment rubric is a collection of “rules” (conditions and criteria) that enables the facilitator to grade the learner’s performance on a subjective test in a comparatively “objective” manner. Often the rubric is made visible to the learners too so that they too understand the logic that underlies the grading of their performance.

Why this fancy name?
Historically, rubric refers to the explanations/review remarks that the teacher wrote on the student’s answer-sheet (remember the red-ink), when she graded it.


  1. When would you like to spend your time and energy creating the assessment rubrics?
  2. What is the downside of using such rubrics?