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Office of University Writing

Office of The Provost


Office of University Writing

Office of The Provost

Rubrics Remixed

We’ve been reviewing the materials on our website and thinking about ways to make these materials more useful to faculty and students. In the process we realized that a few themes have come up repeatedly over the last couple of years and RUBRICS — how and why to use them — seems to be at the top of the list. This month we’ll remind you of earlier discussions about rubrics.

First, a quick highlight of our posts about rubrics. Rubrics have lots of advantages, not the least of which is communicating expectations to students. Both Michael Watkins of Philosophy and Vic Nelson of Electrical and Computer Engineering have good explanations of how rubrics work in this way. Hilary Wyss of English explains how rubrics can also help teachers across multiple sections of the same course identify and articulate what they are expecting or graduate students who are serving as graders for a large enrollment course be more consistent in grading. The earlier posting featuring these faculty members also included examples of their rubrics and those created by the American Association of Colleges and Universities in their nation-wide VALUE project. Another earlier posting on rubrics, outlines some guidelines for using rubrics and designing better assignments. Rubrics also show up as a strategy to help students do better peer reviews.

Given the advantages faculty see in using rubrics it’s not surprising that we’ve developed workshops on creating and using rubric. We can do that workshop, or any of the other workshops we’ve developed, for a group in your department at your request. We’re also happy to help individual faculty members with any of these strategies or just offer feedback on the materials, including rubrics, that you’re designing for your courses.

Do you have an assignment, tool, or strategy to share with others? Are you trying to do something with writing and it just isn’t working out as well as you would like? We would love to hear what you’re doing and how we might help you. Contact us at

Want to know what other events and programs we’ve planned for Spring 2016? Check out our events below:

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