5 Reasons to use rubrics

Cooperative Learning Assessment

Fair and balanced grading of cooperative activities

  • Create practical use rubrics for reuse
  • Create differentiated rubrics to improve individual contribution

It is not uncommon for students to complain that they have to do more than their share because others in their group didn’t pull their weight.  With a few specialized rubrics prepared, not only can you grade much faster, but you’ll also be able to grade students separately on their individual efforts.


With templates for one general and four specific rubrics to use with different roles and styles an instructor can assess student and group contribution from most cooperative activities without additional preparation

  • Practical rubrics are not difficult to produce quickly. By using only single phrase descriptions for each box on the rubric table you can grade quickly.  This would be great for individual grading but might not work as well for cooperative work
  • Differentiated rubrics are great for group work, but you should be careful not to make them specific to one activity
  • Academic Rubrics can be very specific and include long explanations that range from course objectives to a very granular look at every achievement level for each criterion being assessed. This is very useful for course design.  I could use these to backward design an entire course.


  • Contributions, Attitude
  • Cooperation with Others
  • Focus, Commitment
  • Team Role Fulfillment
  • Ability to Communicate
  • Correctness

Example: sample-group-work-rubric

Group Work Rubric: 

Create a rubric with one or more additional criteria to assess how each student works with a group and for their specific role

  • Criteria for all group members:
    • Team Role Fulfillment-Doing their part
    • ——————-what would you add?
  • Create a version of your rubric with criteria for specific roles:
    • Facilitator:    A facilitator guides a discussion
    • Presenter:    Presents the group’s ideas to the full class
    • Recorder:     Summarizes the big ideas that come up
    • Timekeeper: Manages time dedicated to each speaker and when to switch

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