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How to Create and Use Rubrics for Formative Assessment and Grading

Susan M. Brookhart

Table of Contents

Reviews  |  About the Author  |  Comments

About This Book

What is a rubric? A rubric is a coherent set of criteria for student work that describes levels of performance quality. Sounds simple enough, right? Unfortunately, rubrics are commonly misunderstood and misused.

The good news is that when rubrics are created and used correctly, they are strong tools that support and enhance classroom instruction and student learning. 

In this comprehensive guide, author Susan M. Brookhart identifies two essential components of effective rubrics: (1) criteria that relate to the learning (not the “tasks”) that students are being asked to demonstrate and (2) clear descriptions of performance across a continuum of quality. 

She outlines the difference between various kinds of rubrics (for example, general versus task-specific, and analytic versus holistic), explains when using each type of rubric is appropriate, and highlights examples from all grade levels and assorted content areas. 

In addition, Brookhart addresses

  • Common misconceptions about rubrics;
  • Important differences between rubrics and other assessment tools such as checklists and rating scales, and when such alternatives can be useful; and
  • How to use rubrics for formative assessment and grading, including standards-based grading and report card grades.

Intended for educators who are already familiar with rubrics as well as those who are not, this book is a complete resource for writing effective rubrics and for choosing wisely from among the many rubrics that are available on the Internet and from other sources. And it makes the case that rubrics, when used appropriately, can improve outcomes by helping teachers teach and helping students learn.

See the book's table of contents and read excerpts.

How to Create and Use Rubrics for Formative Assessment and Grading

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Book Details

Table of Contents

Product No: 


January 2013

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Reviews and Testimonials

"How to Create and Use Rubrics has changed the way I think about rubrics. I will reevaluate and rework many of my rubric products."

—Tracey Muise,

Reprinted with permission from

About the Author

Susan M. Brookhart, AuthorSUSAN M. BROOKHART is an independent education consultant based in Helena, Mont., and senior research associate in the Center for Advancing the Study of Teaching and Learning in the School of Education at Duquesne University. She is the author or coauthor of several books and many articles on classroom assessment, including ASCD's How to Give Effective Feedback to Your Students and How to Assess Higher-Order Thinking Skills in Your Classroom.

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assessment | critical thinking | report cards | student assessment | teaching for meaning



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