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.

Related Articles and Books

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: Source

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.

Association of American Colleges and Universities. (2009). Assessing learning outcomes: Lessons from AAC&U’s VALUE project. Peer Review, 11(1). Author. Retrieved from: Source

This issue of the Peer Review provides an overview of assessment approaches including the application of rubrics that assess a broad set of learning outcomes.

AAC&U Essential Learning Outcomes VALUE Rubrics. Retrieved from: Source  

As part of AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) initiative, the VALUE rubrics contribute to the national dialogue on assessment of college student learning. You can download the rubrics here.

Case studies of VALUE Rubrics. Retrieved from: Source  

In 2011, the VALUE project staff surveyed a random sample of individuals who had downloaded the VALUE rubrics from the AAC&U website; their case studies are available here.

Berg, L., Grimm, L.M., Wigmore, D., Cratsley, C.K., Slotnick, R.C., & Taylor, S. (2014). Quality collaborative to assess quantitative reasoning: Adapting the LEAP VALUE rubric and the DQP. Peer Review, 16(3), 17-21. Retrieved from: Source  

This publication explores the authors’ work of developing common rubrics and shared goals for students, with a focus on quantitative reasoning.

Hutchings, P. (2014). DQP case study: Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego, California. National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment. Retrieved from: Source  

This DQP Case Study explores Point Loma Nazarene University’s use of the DQP focused on capstones, their use of rubrics, and more.

Finley, A., & Rhodes, T. (2013). Using the VALUE rubrics for improvement of learning and authentic assessment. AAC&U. Retrieved from: Source  

Development of rubrics, examples of use, and faculty training.

Sullivan, D. F. (2015). The VALUE breakthrough: Getting the assessment of student learning in college right. AAC&U. Retrieved from: Source  

VALUE has become a national movement to change the way we envision and approach the assessment of student learning gains and accomplishments in college. This publication explains succinctly and directly the progress and importance of this movement.

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.

Schneider, C. G., & Maki, P. (2015). Assessment that works: A national call, a twenty-first century response. AAC&U. Retrieved from: Source

This publication builds on the work of AAC&U’s VALUE project (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education)—a multi-tiered effort that, in its first stages, harnessed the expertise of hundreds of faculty and other education professionals across American higher education to identify the most commonly agreed upon criteria and standards of judgment to be used in assessing student work.

Slotnick, R., Cratsley, C., Consalvo, A. L., Lerch, C. (2014). Outcomes-Based Assessment in Writing: Two Community Colleges and Two State Universities in a Local Four-Way Partnership. Journal of Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness, 4(1), 52-84.

A four-way partnership between faculty assessment teams at two community colleges and two state universities in Massachusetts coalesced to compare the LEAP VALUE Written Communication rubric and locally developed rubrics in terms of scoring results and perception of the scoring process itself.

Sample Rubrics and Development Resources

AAC&U Value Rubrics

16 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

For case studies on institutional use of Value Rubrics, see here:

Authentic Assessment Toolbox

A site with information on how to create rubrics.

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.

Continuing and Professional Education Program

The Continuing and Professional Education (CPE) Rubric is tailored to assist in the design and evaluation of instructor led, mentored, or self-managed online and blended courses that have pass/fail, skills-based or other completion or certification criteria, but do not carry academic credit.

Guide to Scoring Rubrics

This page from OpenColleges presents a comprehensive guide to creating different types of scoring rubrics.

Internet Resources for Higher Education Outcomes Assessment

An up-to-date, thorough listing of assessment resources available via the web developed by Ephraim Schechter and housed on the North Carolina State University website.

Northern Arizona University

Sample rubrics available for its Liberal Studies Skills.

Northwestern Michigan College – Quantitative Reasoning General Education Outcome Rubric 4/10

A quantitative reasoning rubric for use across the curriculum.

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.

Student Leader Learning Outcomes (SLLO) Project. (2014, December 3)

The Student Leader Learning Outcomes (SLLO) project, hosted by Texas A&M University’s division of student affairs, has a website with resources for those interested in assessing student leadership development. Particularly useful are the leadership rubrics that may help student affairs staff, among others, evaluate various leadership qualities of students. Some of the rubric topics include critical thinking, diversity, ethical leadership and teams and groups.

Understanding Rubrics

A webpage explaining what rubrics are, why to use them, and how to create them.

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.

University of Minnesota’s Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA)

This website demonstrates a process for creating a rubric. The website also gives tips to be considered when using rubrics.

University of Wisconsin STOUT Rubrics for Assessment

A collection of rubrics for assessing portfolios, cooperative learning, research process/report, PowerPoint, podcast, oral presentation, web page, blog, wiki, and other web 2.0 projects.

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.