A rubric is an evaluation tool that divides the designated task or assignments into its component parts. It then continues to provide a clear description of the features of the work associated with each component at the various levels of performance required. Rubrics can serve as grading guides for instructors to enhance students learning by providing clear formative feedback to the students timely and succinctly.

Based on some examples from Carnegie Mellon University and other institutions, we have compiled a set of rubrics for eight common assessment tasks that are used in HKBU: class participation, case study, role play, oral presentation, oral exam, group presentations, field studies, and research paper. These rubrics do not necessarily represent your specific discipline or type of assessment activities. They are meant to be generic examples; we hope that by reviewing these examples, you may gain some ideas on how to divide the tasks you assigned to your students into relevant components and how to describe the different levels of performance you required of your students in completing the tasks.

In the sample rubrics, students’ performance has been categorized into four performance levels (Excellent, Good, Satisfactory, and Marginal Pass) plus Fail (incompetence, plagiarism, non-submission or under-attendance). Please note that an ‘F’ will be assigned to the course if a charge of plagiarism is established; and ‘0’ mark will be assigned to the assignment if it is not submitted (non-submission). To facilitate the grading process using a rubric, particularly the conversion and integration of the rubric scores into students’ course grade, a 4-level performance level consistent with the HKBU grading systems is provided in the samples using either levels of marks (e.g. 10, 8, 6, 4, & 0), Grade Point (GP) (4, 3, 2, 1, & 0), or grades (A, B, C, D, & F).


Rule of thumb

  1. Include both qualitative and quantitative descriptors of assessment criteria in the rubrics as appropriate;
  2. Limit number of categories to 4 – 5 for shorter assignments otherwise it would be almost impossible for a student to attain an A or high score;
  3. Ensure the categories are mutually-exclusive to avoid overlapping;
  4. Allocate weighting of categories as required according to the assessment mapping of respective courses in the program.

Under-Attendance (please refer to university regulation for further details)

In general, it is not recommended to use attendance as a form of assessment. In any case, our University already has existing guidelines on attendance:

  1. According to general regulations for undergraduate degree programmes, a student who is reported a) to have absent without approval for more than 15% of scheduled classes, or b) to have attended less than 70% of scheduled classes (with approved and unapproved absences) shall receive an F grade for the course. The student will not be allowed to sit for the course examination, if any.
  2. According to general regulations for taught postgraduate degree/diploma/certificate programmes, a student who is absent for more than one-third of the scheduled teaching periods (or classes) of a course shall receive an F grade for the course.

Penalties for Late Submissions: Faculties and Departments are recommended to address the issues of late submissions by adopting appropriate policy.

Please review the examples provided and modify the descriptors of students’ performance level according to your field of studies, the respective course intended learning outcomes, and the requirement of students’ designated tasks.

These sample generic rubrics have been adopted and modified from the publicly available information provided by the following institutions:

Carnegie Mellon University
Purdue University
University of Alberta
Association of American Colleges
and Universities (AAC&U)

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to these institutions for generously sharing their resources on the web.

1. Participation (included 2 examples, one is using marks and one is using grade points for conversion purpose)

2. Case Study (using marks for conversion purpose)

3. Role Play (using grades for conversion purpose)

4. Oral Presentation (using grade points for conversion purpose)

5. Oral Exam (using marks for conversion purpose)

6. Group Presentation (using marks for conversion purpose)

7. Field Studies (using grade points for conversion purpose)

8. Research Paper (using grade points for conversion purpose)