Increasingly, students are demanding greater clarity from their instructors regarding the expectations of course assignments. Without additional work in grading for instructors, well-designed rubrics facilitate the delivery of expectations and feedback to provide greater clarity for students while reducing the grading load of the instructor. By focusing rubrics on providing insight related to understanding and meaning, rubrics move from a check sheet of competencies to a means of enhancing course communication. They become tools that define quality and clarify expectations for students, while focusing teaching and promoting descriptive feedback from instructors (Chappuis, Stiggins, Chappuis, & Arter, 2012). This type of rubric not only promotes student assessment and goal-setting, but also guides instructor consistency in grading and provides data to focus student interventions (Chappuis et al., 2012).
Rubrics should allow students to self-assess their ability to create high-quality work rather than identify the means by which to secure a desirable grade. This focus is transferable across content areas, course formats, and delivery methods. Without limiting creative feedback, rubric type, content, structure, and evaluation can contribute to enhancing both teacher practice and student work. In working with rubrics, we aim to share collaborative strategies for team teaching, best practice for course design and enhancement, and rubric alignment with assignments. We also recognize and look to share challenges in developing rubrics, as a means to prevent confusion in development to maximize instructor autonomy while enhancing transparency around expectations.