Rubrics, Rubrics, Rubrics!

Make PBL easier for teachers and clearer for students

Important Points about Rubrics

  • Each major product or performance needs its own rubric.
  • Rubrics serve to improve the quality of a product or performance.
  • Assess content (ELAR, math,sScience, social studies, elective areas) separately from 21st century skills.
  • Rubrics should use student-friendly language.
  • Students should be provided with the project rubrics and time to understand the expectations.
  • Rubrics are formative assessment tools for students and teachers.
  • Students should be taught how to use rubrics feedback to revise their work.
  • Students may eventually be involved in the creation of rubrics.


From PBL in the Elementary Grades, BIE, p. 51

Start with the GCISD PBL Project Design Rubric

The GCISD PBL Project Design Rubric has a dual purpose--to help during the planning phase and to help refine the project in a feedback protocol like Critical Friends.


Once a teacher begins to design a project, the GCISD PBL Project Design Rubric can serve as a companion document for keeping on the right track in the planning process.


The GCISD PBL Project Design Rubric is also a structured tool for feedback. When seeking advice from colleagues to refine a project, teachers may consider using the Project Design Rubric to solicit useful, constructive comments.

Steps in Developing Rubrics

  1. Make sure your expectations match the TEKS--nouns, verbs and rigor.
  2. Imagine what an exemplar sample of work would look like. Use a real sample, if possible, as a model.
  3. Consider the parts of the task that students will think are difficult. This will help you identify and prepare scaffolding lessons and activities.
  4. Be sure the criteria are in line with the directions for the task.
  5. Decide which task features will not be assessed. This keeps students from feeling too overwhelmed.
  6. Limit the number of criteria. This allows students to really focus on the most important learning outcomes.


From "Guides to Scoring Student Work: Checklists and Rubrics" by Therese Kuhs, et. al.

Goal of Rubrics: Student mastery of content and success!

Why reinvent the wheel?

There are lots of good places to start your rubric without starting from scratch!