Owning the Rubric: Facilitating Rubric Co-construction

Author Faculty (Discipline)


Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA) Conference

Embargo Period



130103 Higher Education| 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development| 130303 Education Assessment and Evaluation| 130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators

Avondale Research Centre

Centre for Advancement of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Reportable Items (HERDC/ERA)




During this workshop, the characteristics of effective rubrics will be shared with participants, based on an extensive literature review and consultation with a panel of assessment experts. These characteristics will then be used as the basis to critically analyse a collection of assessment rubrics from varied higher education disciplinary contexts. Based on experiences of lecturers and students who participated in the project, protocols will be presented for how to engage students in the process of co-constructing assessment rubrics with their lecturers. Lastly, a model for collaborative rubric co-construction will be shared with workshop participants who will then be encouraged to reflect on how the model, or aspects of it, could be applied to their own contexts.


This workshop has been designed for university educators including lecturers, tutors and education designers who are engaged in the processes of course design, assessment design and rubric construction. The workshop activities and resources are not discipline-specific.


By the end of the workshop, it is anticipated that participants will be able to:

  • identify effective rubric characteristics from literature and assessment experts;
  • critically analyse rubric examples using effective rubric characteristics;
  • describe methods used to facilitate teacher-student co-construction of assessment rubrics; and
  • based on an analysis of a model of rubric co-construction, reflect on how some aspects of this model could be applied to your teaching context.


Activities and discussion:

  • Introduction to the workshop. Overview of activities and intended outcomes (whole group).
  • Effective rubric characteristics. Brainstorm and share effective rubric characteristics (in pairs/ whole group)
  • Sample rubrics. Participants evaluate rubrics (in pairs, mixture of disciplines). Consideration of evaluation findings in relation to courses and assessment tasks that do and do not require rubrics (whole group).
  • Co-construction protocols. Facilitators share rubric co-construction protocols (whole group). Discuss limitations and opportunities for co-construction, and how to overcome challenges in online and on-campus courses.
  • Model of collaborative rubric construction and use. Presentation of model with considerations of application in practical contexts.
  • Guided reflection. Reflection on own practice and goal setting (individual, partner from same discipline).

Questions to trigger discussion:

  • What are the qualities of an effective rubric?
  • What value is there in engaging students in assessment design and rubric construction?
  • What institutional barriers exist when implementing rubric co-construction processes?
  • How can these institutional barriers be overcome?
  • How does the co-construction of rubrics impact on student learning and/or students’ learning intentions?

Time: 2.5 hours + 30 minute break


Used by permission: Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA) and the author(s).

Associated Research Project


Please refer to publisher version or contact the library.