The use of assessment rubrics to enhance feedback in higher education

Maarten van de Ven

This review has explored in-depth research papers that explore the use of rubrics in Higher Education. To explore the literature relating to the use of rubrics in Higher Education, this study describes a systematic search using three databases, the British Education Index, the Education Resources Information Centre and the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature. The research question used to guide the search strategy was: What are the benefits and challenges of using rubrics as part of the assessment process in Higher Education?

The review utilised an integrative approach to the retrieval and appraisal of the research. As the papers retrieved used different methodologies to explore the use of rubrics they were analysed using either thematic analysis or narrative synthesis. Fifteen papers were identified that met the inclusion and exclusion criteria for the review.

It is clear from the literature that there are some advantages to be gained by using rubrics to enhance feedback to students. The results of the study show that student self-assessment, self-regulation and understanding of assessment criteria were all enhanced by the use of rubrics. However, students also reported that rubrics could be restrictive and student stress related to assessments could be increased. To prevent these drawbacks, student involvement in the design and implementation of a rubric was identified as being critical to their success. Rubrics were found to be most effective when used as part of an overall assessment strategy that was co-created with students.

More information
Cockett, A. & Jackson, C. (2018). The use of assessment rubrics to enhance feed…