Developing and Using Rubrics and Checklists

In this module, faculty learn how to select a grading tool that aligns best to the assigned task and offers the type of feedback most helpful to students. In addition, the module includes techniques for helping students understand how to use different grading tools to their benefit and helping instructors understand how they might use the data generated from grading tools to inform instruction.

To satisfy the module requirements, practicing faculty must apply at least one technique, such as creating an assignment checklist, having students use a rubric to analyze sample papers, or analyzing rubric data.

This module is one of five modules under ACUE’s unit on Assessing to Inform Instruction and Promote Learning.

Advising Subject Matter Experts

Dannelle Stevens
Professor, Curriculum and Instruction
Portland State University


Phyllis Blumberg
Teaching and Learning Center
Assistant Provost, Faculty Development
University of the Sciences

Landrum_R Eric

R. Eric Landrum
Professor, Psychology
Boise State University


Linda Nilson
Founding Director, Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation
Clemson University

Module References

Allen, D., & Tanner, K. (2006). Rubrics: Tools for making learning goals and evaluation criteria explicit for both teachers and learners. CBE Life Sciences Education, 5, 197–203.

Ambrose, S. A., Bridges, M. W., Lovett, M. C., DiPietro, M., & Norman, M. K. (2010). How learning works: Seven research-based principles for smart teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Berkeley University of California. (n.d.). Helping students understand their grades. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Bresciani, M. J., Zelna, C. L., & Anderson J. A. (2004). Assessing student learning and development: A handbook for practitioners. Washington, DC: National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

Davis, B. G. (2009). Tools for teaching (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Gooblar, D. (2014, October 8). Why I don’t like rubrics. Retrieved from

Jonsson, A., & Svingby, G. (2007). The use of scoring rubrics: Reliability, validity and educational consequences. Educational Research Review, 2, 130–144.

Luft, J. A. (1999). Rubrics: Design and use in science teacher education. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 10, 107–121.

Nilson, L. B. (2010). Teaching at its best: A research-based resource for college instructors (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Panadero, E., & Jonsson, A. (2013). The use of scoring rubrics for formative assessment purposes: A review. Educational Research Review, 9, 129–144.

Reddy, Y. M., & Andrade, H. (2010). A review of rubric use in higher education. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 35, 435–448.

Stevens, D. D., & Levi, A. J. (2013). Introduction to rubrics: An assessment tool to save grading time, convey effective feedback, and promote student learning (2nd ed.) Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Suskie, L. A. (2009). Assessing student learning: A common sense guide (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Svinicki, M. D., & McKeachie, W. J. (2014). McKeachie’s teaching tips: Strategies, research, and theory for college and university teachers (14th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Vanderbilt University, Center for Teaching. (n.d.). Grading student work. Retrieved from

Walvoord, B. E. F., & Anderson, V. J. (2010). Effective grading: A tool for learning and assessment (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.