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Examples of rubrics

In the previous step, we introduced you to the core concept of what a rubric is and the different approaches to rubrics that can be used, but before moving on it may be useful to look at some specific models that have been used for rubrics.

These examples aren’t exhaustive, but they demonstrate how rubrics can be adapted to suit different subject disciplines or audiences.

Typical word-based rubric for observing a teacher candidate

Typical word-based rubric for observing a teacher candidate, with four ratings. Based on an assessment for ISTE Standard 4b: Address the diverse needs of all learners by using learner-centred strategies providing equitable access to appropriate digital tools and resources. The columns are labelled Exceeds Expectations, Meets Expectations (Acceptable), Developing, Emerging. See downloadable PDF for full text-based rubric.

A traditional word-based rubric with no numerical labels. Based on an ISTE Standard. See PDF download for an accessible text-based version.

This rubric can be used to assess teaching candidates against the International Society for Technology in Education standards (in this case, part 4b). It clearly defines what behaviours a candidate needs to demonstrate to be deemed acceptable. In this example the rating labels could be fully expanded to mean the following:

  • Exceeds Expectation: Clear examples of exemplary performance or best practice in this domain: no weaknesses

  • Meeting Expectation: Very good or excellent performance on virtually all aspects; strong overall but not exemplary; no weaknesses of any real consequence

  • Developing: Reasonably good performance overall; might have a few slight weaknesses but nothing serious

  • Emerging: Clear evidence of unsatisfactory functioning; serious weaknesses on crucial aspects


Circular mathematics rubric by Galileo Educational Network of Canada

First-person, graphical rubric supporting performance at a Math Fair, published by the Galileo Educational Network of Canada. Click to enlarge.

This circular rubric is presented as a type of radar chart, with the lowest levels of achievement in the outermost ring, and the highest levels in the innermost ring (closest to the ‘bullseye’). The circle is divided into sectors of equal size, like a dart board, each containing a different criterion being assessed. This makes it easy to display visually where the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses lie.


Graphical rubric used by a U.S. kindergarten teacher - labels read 'Check your work! Can you get four stars? The rows are labelled Name, Picture, Colouring and Writing. The column ratings are headed One star, two stars, three stars and four stars. The cells contain pictoral examples to illustrate different standards of work.

Graphical rubric used by a U.S. kindergarten teacher. Available for free download at

This pictoral grid rubric was developed by teacher and blogger Samantha Francis for use with very young children. A child can use this to self-evaluate their work, while the teacher can use it to evaluate how the child views their work.


Visual minirubric intended for short check-ups on performance. The four column headers are labelled Exemplary (green), Proficient (white), Developing (Orange) and Novice (Red). Descriptions of three differerent criteria are given in each row

Visual ‘minirubric’ intended for short check-ups on performance. Redrawn from example by Jane Davidson of, 24 November, 2014.

This ‘minirubric’ is a cross between a rating scale and a rubric. It makes excellent use of colour and placement of icons for instant understanding.


These options aren’t exhaustive - you can be really creative in the presentation of your rubric, as we hope the examples above have shown. The rubric format can be adapted depending on the needs of your assessment measures.

Over to you…

  • Which forms of rubric have you used most effectively in your work?
  • What challenges have you encountered in creating or working with a rubric?

Summarise your experience in a few sentences and spend at least 5 minutes reading the thoughts of your fellow learners in the comments below.

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This article is from the free online course:

Designing Assessments to Measure Student Outcomes

American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE)

Course highlights Get a taste of this course before you join:

  • The importance of quality assessments
    The importance of quality assessments

    Linda McKee from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education explains to find out the effectiveness of a training program.

  • The elements of quality assessments
    The elements of quality assessments

    Linda McKee from AACTE discusses the importance of ensuring assessment of teacher preparation programs are valid, reliable, and fair.

  • Steps in writing surveys
    Steps in writing surveys

    Watch Linda McKee from AACTE's five-part process for designing and deploying a survey to measure student satisfaction in your teaching program.