Post a composite review
Unpost a composite review
Search all MERLOT
Select to go to your profile
Select to go to your workspace
Select to go to your Dashboard Report
Select to go to your Content Builder
Select to log out
Search Terms
Enter username
Enter password
Please give at least one keyword of at least three characters for the search to work with. The more keywords you give, the better the search will work for you.
Select OK to launch help window
Cancel help


Advanced Search


Peer Review

Scoring Rubrics: What, When and How?

by B. Moskal


Overall Numeric Rating:

4 stars
Content Quality: 4.4 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 3.7 stars
Reviewed: Mar 12, 2003 by Teacher Education
Overview: This a full-text article about scoring rubrics in an online journal called
Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation. The article presents a brief
bibliography with citations to some descriptive and instructional sources with
the following uses 1) to assist teachers in understanding what scoring rubrics
are, and 2) to assist teachers in constructing scoring rubrics for use in
classroom assessment. The example provided was created to guide the evaluation
of student writing samples in a college classroom. The manner in which this
rubric is constructed is general enough that it can be applied to a variety of

Type of Material: Reference/Resource.
Recommended Uses: For any teacher, preservice or inservice, who is interested in learning more
about scoring rubrics. Instructors teaching about assessment will find this a
useful online reference.
Technical Requirements: No special requirements.
Identify Major Learning Goals: To learn about scoring different types of scoring rubrics, why they are useful,
and how to develop them. The material is appropriate for educators who do not
yet know much about rubrics. Links to a great variety of rubrics might be
useful as a resource for more advanced research or assessment projects.
Target Student Population: Students preparing to be teachers and inservice teachers would find this
information useful. Faculty wanting a concise description and definition of
rubrics might reference this article.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Only simple navigation skills are needed. This brief article is useful mainly to
those who are new to scoring rubrics, so little prior knowledge is necessary.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.4 stars
Strengths: The author describes scoring rubrics as a pre-defined scheme for the evaluation
process that serves to convert the subjectivity involved in evaluating an essay
into a more objective process. It describes how to add numerical weights to
help teachers or investigators convert qualitative information into quantitative
scores. The article explains why scoring rubrics are useful and provides a
process for developing scoring rubrics. It suggests that two scorers be used
to check and to improve the reliability of the rubric for determining scores.
The paper concludes with a description of resources containing examples of the
different types of scoring rubrics. These are its strengths. Additional
strengths are the clarity of the explanations provided in this short paper, and
the support of examples. For instance, the author explains the value of using
rubrics over checklists for providing feedback to help students improve,
explains some of the main differences between holistic and analytical scoring
rubrics, and supports both of these explanations with clear, although brief,
examples. Links to other articles by this author and to articles on
rubrics and other forms of assessment in ERIC are provided at the top of the
page. These links take the user to other well-written, though brief, essays on
rubrics. The full citation to this online article is listed, which is a
positive for students who may be doing research about rubrics and come upon this
article. The concise nature of the content and the links to additional quality
resources make this article useful.

Concerns: This article is quite short and cannot provide the kind of information in detail
or with multiple and specific examples for different disciplines that a book
about rubrics could provide. Several of the links in the reference list are not

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: By using this article as a introductory guide or tutorial, groups of teachers
should be encouraged to critique or field test existing rubrics or begin to
design their own descriptive rubrics based on samples of student work. The
article might help students develop their abilities to identify important
scoring categories and to recognize the need to work together to evaluate and
improve a particular rubric for their scoring objectives. The information is
accurate and useful as a brief introduction to scoring rubrics. However, the
topic should be amplified by any instructor who assigns it to students. For
example, an instructor would need to provide additional examples and information
in class, and point students to the vast quantity of other online information
about rubrics. Permission is granted to distribute this article for nonprofit,
educational purposes if it is copied in its entirety and the journal is
credited, which may be helpful to instructors.
Concerns: While the information that is provided is accurate and useful, it is only an
essay in an online journal, so it is therefore limited in its utility to those
students who can learn about rubrics by reading about them. One suggestion for
enhancing this site would be to change from the html to another file version
that makes it easier to format the document for printing and distribution for
students to use as a framework for further learning about rubrics. Students may
not recognize the importance of the emphasis on transitions and flow of thought
that appear in the holistic scale presented as an example. Novice teachers
tend to use checklists or focus on isolated scoring categories, but individual
category scores may fail to reflect poor over-all quality. Instructors will
need to supplement this information for learners who do not learn effectively
from text information, and all learners will need to practice writing and using
rubrics to truly understand how to use them effectively.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 3.7 stars
Strengths: The concise nature of the content and the quality of the bibliography and the
resources in the links makes this material easy to use. It is short enough to
read online without having to print it out. There is a window at the top of the
page that allows readers to search for titles, authors, key words, and
descriptors in other volumes of this online journal. Also, the links to ERIC
search engines in a box on the top, right side of the page is useful because
keywords relating to scoring rubrics have already been entered and yield a
lengthy list of other online resources related to this topic.
Concerns: Since this article was published in 2000, several of the
web links are no longer working. One of the links to an ERIC site yields nothing
and appears not to be working.

Other Issues and Comments: The concise nature of the content and the links to additional quality resources
make this article useful. The author?s description of how to develop a rubric is
quite clear, if rather generic.