Evaluating student performance in forums with a rubric

We have all heard the term “rubric” tossed around, but may not know what it is. Luckily, it’s simple. A rubric is a scoring tool that helps you articulate assignment criteria to your students. It can be as simple as a checklist or as complex as a matrix with many criteria and standards across a continuum.

Using a rubric in forums can be a great way to make grading and student interaction easier and more meaningful.

The benefits of using a rubric:

  • Both students and faculty are clear on the expectations for meeting the course requirements, which can improve student performance
  • Students who have been evaluated using a rubric are better able to describe what they learned, meaning they are remembering the content!
  • Easier and more efficient for an instructor or TA to grade the work

Some ideas for implementing a rubric in your class forum:

  • Implement a simple rubric first to see if you like it
  • Have students score each other

Contact the Teaching and Learning Center (877-972-5249 or tlc@ohsu.edu) if you would like some more ideas or examples!


Creating and Using Rubrics for Student Assignments. (n.d.). Inquiry Through Blended Learning. Retrieved November 15, 2013, from http://online.wsu.edu/courses/certification/docs/rubrics-for-student-assignments.pdf

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  1. The SON’s RNBS program uses a variety of rubrics across their courses ( 412, 410, 411, 424i/425i, 427 and 426A, as well as the transition courses. I imagine faculty would be willing to share rubrics and offer insights about use.

  2. Using rubricks is an essential part of the RNBS Program. We have found them to be very helpful, especially in eliminating any concern for grading being overly subjective when students need to see exactly why they received the grade they were given. We teach large courses in teams so having a grading rubric is also helpful in having some inter-rater reliability between faculty grading the same assignments. Essentially, everyone knows from the get-go what the assignment entails and what is being evaluated.

    We’re also using them for self-evaluation and peer-review, with good feedback from the students.We’re happy to share what we use if anyone is interested.

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