A rubric is a guide to scoring the quality of assignments/responses.  Rubrics are typically used to help learners and instructors understand and know what is being graded, how the grading will be scored, and what the expectations are for completion of assignments. Generally, a rubric is presented in a table format and can be used by both the instructor for grading, and by the learners for planning their work.  A rubric is designed to communicate expectations of the task at hand to both the learner and the instructor. 

a graph showing a sample grading rubric

Above is a sample template that can be used to start a rubric.  See “Resources” below to get a more detailed sample.

If assignments will be graded and expected to meet a specific standard for completion of the online training course, consider using a rubric. Rubrics will help the learner and the instructor and will limit possible confusion as to completion expectations.

The two main components of a rubric are the criteria being assessed and the levels at which the criteria can be graded. 

  • Criteria are specific and detailed components of the overall assignment that you are looking at.  This breaks down a larger assignment into smaller pieces.  These pieces are typically the things that you would consider and look for when grading an assignment to verify completeness and that it met your desired outcomes.  There is no minimum or maximum number of criteria.  The more complex the assignment and the more specific details you are wanting, the more criteria that would be graded.
  • Levels will offer a variety of options that start at a more basic point and go to a more detailed response.  Most rubrics will have 3 or 4 Levels, however, when creating a rubric you can use as many levels as preferred, they can also be labeled in any preferred terminology.  For our example we label them at “Beginning”, “Developing”, and “Competent”

Below is a sample of part of a grading rubric.

Using Observations to Create Lesson Plans

Final Assignment:
Observe a classroom of your choice.  Make notes of the observation/use observation forms.  Based on the observation create a lesson plan using the attached template. 

a graph showing different levels of grading

When grading, each level is assigned points.  Once again, the points assigned are subjective, but should be uniform across the entire rubric.  Depending on the total number of points possible, you would determine how many points a participant would need in order to pass the assignment, a recommended guide would be getting 80% of the possible number of points. 

Benefits of rubrics for trainers:

  • Provide learners with clear instructions for desired outcomes 
  • Provide reliability and consistency in evaluating learner assessments
  • Provide justification for course completion and credit obtainment
  • Allow for reliability and consistency in scoring

For the learner the rubric can be of benefit because: 

  • Provide clear instructions of expectations 
  • Show possible variations in the grading 
  • Provide feedback on the quality of work


Below is a rubric example

The document above is also included in the appendix of your course handout. Download this if you’d prefer a separate version.

Add more examples?