Recommendations for practice
Project Information | Logistics | Effective Rubric Characteristics | Co-construction Process | Using Co-constructed Rubrics | Rubrics Examples | Research Methods | Recommendations for Practice | References & Publications | Model of Collaborative Rubric Construction | Workshop

 This project produced a number of practical recommendations that are offered here as a set of suggestions for how to set up the process of rubric co-construction in higher education contexts.

What to do before the semester starts

  • Look at Effective Rubric Characteristics
  • Call for volunteer student co-constructors
  • Plan collaboration sessions
  • Gather rubric exemplars
  • Create document with course learning outcomes
  • Create document with assessment task instructions
  • Create rubric drafts for assessments

How to prepare students

  • Discuss ideology behind co-construction notions
  • Ensure students and teachers calibrate their understandings of:
    • Graduate attributes;
    • Performance level descriptors; and
    • Marking criteria.
  • Distribute Australian Quality Framework (AQF)
  • Distribute Course Learning Outcomes
  • Distribute Student Learning Outcomes
  • Distribute assessment task instructions
  • Distribute rubric exemplars
  • Discuss time imperatives for co-construction sessions
  • Organise times for sessions


  • Students may feel intimidated working with academics; bring genuine strategies to minimise this
  • Make the co-construction space a safe and equal one
  • Do not use academic language
  • Do not use ambiguous language
  • Only use performance level descriptors that define the work, not the student undertaking the work
  • Make sure performance level descriptors are aligned to learning outcomes
  • Performance level descriptors must be relevant to the course level (first year, postgraduate etc), to the discipline and the standard required for each task
  • Always negotiate language and wording for each section with students
  • Avoid using the word ‘average’ in performance level headings since it is based on comparison to something that is not defined.

If you just want to try a few ideas but not the full co-construction process

This can be accomplished electronically:

  • Send rubric assessment and assessment task details to entire cohort
  • Create an online forum e.g., within Blackboard/Moodle etc to gather feedback
  • Request students read the assessment task and the rubric, and post on forum or email directly to the lecturer with:
    • points for improvement;
    • where language is verbose or ambiguous;
    • where there is not clarity;
    • where something is missing

This can be accomplished in first class of subject:

  • Distribute rubric assessment and assessment task either physically, or projected online
  • Open discussion by reading through each criteria and gleaning feedback from class
  • Urge students to speak up; that it is a genuine attempt at gaining their feedback
  • Suggest if they think of further ideas in following days, to email them through to lecturer for consideration

Future ideas for research

  • The project involved students in assessment design processes but did not attempt to involve students in moderation/calibration processes; managing the issue of confidentiality in giving students access to their peers’ grades in order for student moderation became an insurmountable one. We decided to remove this aspect of moderation, creating a possible nexus for future research.
  • Cohorts from five different disciplines were involved in the project. We invite other researchers to replicate this research, using the protocols and data gathering instruments created during this study, to further investigate the impact of rubric co-construction on lecturer and student perceptions of effective assessment practices.
  • The  project investigated the impact of rubric co-construction and use on lecturer and student perceptions of student learning. Future research is recommended into the impact of rubric co-construction and use on the actual learning outcomes of students.

For more details about the project’s findings, see:


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