National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment |

National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment



Related Articles and Books

Sample Rubrics and Development Resources


Rubrics help colleges/universities and instructors understand student achievement of college-wide learning outcomes or course objectives. Frequently used when grading student assignments, or reviewing samples of student work, rubrics are often uniquely created for each course or tailored for specific outcomes. The benefits of using rubrics in courses can be observed by both the instructor and student. According to Suskie (2009), rubrics:

Help clarify vague, fuzzy goals
Help students understand your expectations
Help students self-improve
Inspire better student performance
Make scoring easier and faster
Make scoring more accurate, unbiased, and consistent
Improve feedback to students
Reduce arguments with students
Improve feedback to faculty and staff (p. 139)

Related Articles and Books

Rhodes, T. (2010). Assessing Outcomes and Improving Achievement: Tips and Tools for Using Rubrics. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.

This AAC&U publication provides an overview of the VALUE project and the creation of 15 rubrics that were developed collaboratively between faculty and academic professionals.

Stevens, D. D., & Levi, A. J. (2012). Introduction to rubrics. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

This book provides background on the purposes of rubrics and includes information on the use of rubrics in program assessment. Examples of rubrics are also provided.

Suskie, L. (2009). Assessing student learning: A common sense guide. (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

This book, in addition to providing other assessment tools, highlights examples of different rubrics used in courses such as rating scales, checklist rubrics, descriptive rubrics, and structured observation guides.

Association of American Colleges and Universities. (2011, Fall/2012, Winter). Assessing liberal education outcomes using VALUE rubrics. Peer Review, 13(4) and 14(1). Author. Retrieved from:

The use of AAC&U's VALUE Rubrics to assess student learning at colleges and universities around the nation is the central focus of this issue.

Sample Rubrics and Development Resources

AAC&U Value Rubrics

15 Essential Liberal Learning Outcomes are outlined by AAC&U. Broken down into 3 sections, the rubrics were developed to help create a shared understanding of student learning at colleges and universities across the country:

1. Intellectual and Practical Skills: inquiry and analysis; critical thinking; creative thinking; written communication; oral communication; reading; quantitative literacy; information literacy; teamwork; problem solving

2. Personal and Social Responsibility: civic knowledge and engagement - local and global; intercultural knowledge and competence; ethical reasoning; foundations and skills for lifelong learning

3. Integrative and Applied Learning: integrative and applied learning

Bowling Green State University

BGSU has identified six university-level learning outcomes and developed rubrics for each which are available on its Assessment website. Each rubric is designed using a developmental sequence, from beginner to advanced, in order to assess proficiency in course assignments, work duties, or co-curricular activities.

California State University - Fresno

CSU-Fresno houses a Rubric Library through its Office of Institutional Effectiveness. Sample rubrics are available for some of its programs as well as university-level learning outcomes.

Northern Arizona University

Sample rubrics available for its Liberal Studies Skills.

Opened Practices

Described on its website as "a community of practice for teaching and learning with open/community-source tools," Opened provides resources for rubrics from different higher education institutions across the country.

RAILS Project

In partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, AAC&U, and the ACRL Assessment Immersion Program, the RAILS (Rubric Assessment of Information Literacy Skills) Project provides resources for academic librarians and faculty to enhance their skills of assessing information literacy outcomes. Its intended outcomes include "a suite of rubrics that can be used by academic librarians and disciplinary faculty to assess information literacy outcomes;a transferable model for analyzing rubric scores; training materials for librarians, faculty, and LIS students who seek to use rubrics for information literacy assessment; indicators of rater expertise in rubric scoring; and a clearinghouse for librarians and faculty to share."

RCampus' iRubric

A free online resource that helps create rubrics in a collaborative learning environment.


A free online website tool developed through the Advanced Learning Technologies (ALTEC) project at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning helps visitors create rubrics.

Stephen F. Austin State University Rubric Assessment Resource Page

Examples of rubrics of both discipline-specific and college-wide outcomes are provided.

University of Hawai'i Manoa's Rubric Bank

This page provides rubrics for different learning outcomes designated as essential for the university. A How-to guide on creating rubrics is also posted.

Waubonsee Community College

WCC provides a guide for developing rubrics.

Winona State University Sample Rubrics

This site is a compilation of sample rubrics collected from several colleges and universities divided by discipline and/or learning outcome.

*Due to copyright regulations we cannot put up direct links to many of these articles, but they are available through many university libraries.