Rubric review

Let’s review why you would even take the time to write a rubric:

  • A rubric allows you to provide useful, meaningful feedback on performance; it is more than an audit or a grade.
  • It helps you compare the current standard of your work with the exemplary standard.
  • It also helps demystify what that exemplary standard is. Often you are stuck in the situation of guessing what your boss or teacher wants; with a rubric, you know exactly what they want, because it spelled out clearly.
  • A rubric gives specific information about higher levels of performance.
  • It is also a vehicle for ongoing discussion of what good work looks like. Deciding what you are not going to do is as important as deciding what you will do!
  • And, a rubric facilitates self assessment, and forces us to measure not what’s easiest to measure, but what’s most important to measure.

It is time to write your own rubric. Decide what rubrics you need. Take a moment to answer these questions:

  • Is there a core performance in the work of your organization that would benefit from being described specifically?
  • Are there key words to your mission, goal, strategies that inspire you to ask, “What would that look like if we succeeded?” Lofty words need to be made specific to help work toward an organization’s mission.
  • Is there something important that resists quantification?
  • Are there people in your organization who need constructive feedback?
  • Is there something your organization needs to talk about but you haven’t found a way to talk about it yet?
  • Is there an essential question to your work that needs a vehicle for ongoing discussion? For example, we asked ourselves what a rubric on “effective philanthropy” would look like for the Dodge Foundation, and one of our answers included technical assistance to our grantees, such as this assessment workshop.
  • Is there a job description that would benefit from being examined from multiple perspectives?
  • Are there things you do that have many parts where you’re not sure what parts matter more than others? Because rubrics are about priorities and figuring out what matters most.
  • Has something gone wrong recently that we can learn from?
For non-linear browsing of the online Assessment Workshop click on the links below:

How To Navigate This Workshop

You may choose to go through this workshop in a linear, page by page fashion, by clicking on the "Next" and "Previous" buttons at the bottom of each step.

If you want to browse through the steps, jump around, or need to go back a few steps, use the "non-linear" menu of steps at the bottom of each page.

If you are familiar with this workshop, and you are looking to refresh your memory, we think the following steps about the Rubric, which is the tool at the heart of this workshop, might be most useful to you: