Rubrics Discussion

As Law Professors strive to  provide more formative assessment and more meaningful  evaluation of student performance, rubrics have become a  hallmark of good assessment practices.   They provide clear direction for students and a more focused classroom experience.  They help students and professors work from a common understanding of what is expected.

However,  rubric creation is not an exact science.  At the 2011 Institute for Law Teaching and Learning Conference  “Engaging and Asssessing Our Students,”  four of us – Albany Law Academic Dean Connie Mayer, Villanova Professor Michele Pistone, Professor Marisa S. Cianciarulo at Chapman University School of Law and Albany Law Professor Mary Lynch –  will be presenting a workshop on Using Rubrics to Assess and Engage Law Students. In an effort to create better rubrics and understand their impact on student learning, we intend to follow up our presentation with discussion and information exchange on this page dedictated solely to rubric discussion.  Please feel free to post your rubrics, tells us what works and what does not work, and comment on what others are doing. Also if you have something you’d like posted but dont’ know how, just e-mail

Some sample rubrics:

Class Discussion Rubric


Presentation Style Rubric

Class Participation Rubric (Zahr Said via Deborah Maranville)

Reaction Memo Evaluation Rubric (Zahr Said via Deborah Maranville)

Learn more and download editable documents at CELT

3 Responses

  1. Rubric development is a humbling experience…

  2. I have seen an increasing reuqset for rubrics lately as well. I don’t mind using formal rubrics for some assignments, but, as you note, sometimes they just don’t work, or they arbitrarily slice up assignments that are better viewed more holistically. As to peer review, I have the same problem. Comments are too nice or sparse, partly out of a desire not to offend, partly, I suspect, out of laziness, and partly, perhaps, because they don’t really know how to do peer review, or don’t feel authoritative enough to do serious review. Perhaps a combination of these issues, in the form of a rubric for peer review, might work. Tell them exactly what they should be looking at and reviewing, and how, and grade them on it (although I agree this might be too labor intensive).

  3. Hi

    A rubric may be a scoring scale used to guage a student’s work. Rubrics spell out to students specifically what’s expected of them, and that they list the standards instructors use to assess students’ work. Rubrics conjointly facilitate instructors by providing tips for a lot of objective grading.


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