Workshop 2 - Designing Effective Rubrics for Complex Assessments

Higher Education Consultant


There is a move across Universities to mark and grade complex assessment tasks through the use of rubrics, also known as Grade Related Descriptors (GRDs). Unlike marking sheets, which provide marks for each part of the assessment, rubrics or GRDs describe the characteristics of each grade level. But how does one design valid rubrics that can be used effectively for student learning and reliably for student grading?

This workshop examines different types of rubrics and their use, and examines their relationship with the task and its achievement. The workshop focuses in particular on the development of global rubrics and examines how to:

Through the course of the workshop, participants will have an opportunity to start the process of designing an effective rubric for their course.

Target Participants

Teaching academics and academic developers


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Vardi, I. (2013). Developing students' critical thinking in the higher education class. Milperra, NSW: Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia.

O'Donovan, B., Price, M., & Rust, C. (2008). Developing students understanding of assessment standards: a nested hierarchy of approaches. Teaching in Higher Education, 13(2), 205 - 217.

Murray, V. (2009). The use of grade descriptors within assessment. Northumbria University. Retrieved from:

Sadler, D. (2005). Interpretations of criteria-based assessment and grading in higher education. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 30(2), 175-194.

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