Student Created Rubrics and Assessments


As educators, I am sure we all see that the for the most part, the more students are involved in their learning process, the better the outcome. “Many studies support the fact that increasing student engagement improves learning in higher education (Astin,1993; Kuh, 2003; Kuh, Kinzie, Schuh, & Whitt, 2005; Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005).” (NOBA, 2016).

As stated in the article from the NOBA Project, Using Student-created Assessments in the Class -or- How to Get Students More into Their Own Learning,   “when students participate in the creation of their own assessments, it enables them to create assessment experiences that are in line with their own learning preferences. In other words, whether students have a conscious knowledge of it or not, they know how they themselves learn best. Knowing themselves as they do, students can create assessments that will leverage their preferences. If, for example, a student prefers to write, they will likely create an assessment that calls for a written product. Students who believe they learn better when they see things in visual form, will likely design an assessment that leans on this preference…Another benefit is that self-created assessments allow students to demonstrate knowledge in ways that can showcase their individual strengths. Both of these reasons are ways of integrating student voices more into the teaching and learning process, increasing student engagement, and, in the process, improving student learning.”

In the article titled, Rubrics to the Rescue, the benefits in having the students involved in the creation of the rubrics is outlined.

As stated, “Rubrics are motivational tools for students, especially when students are involved in process.

By involving students in the creation of the rubric, students feel more empowered and their learning becomes more focused and self-directed.

Intrinsic motivation occurs when students design their own assessment tools.
If students help to create a rubric, it is much easier to hold them to its standards.

When students invest a decent amount of time and commitment into a project, they naturally want to participate in creating the assessment for that project.
The development of a rubric is a reflective process. It extends beyond just turning in a project.

Students involved in creating a rubric have a more concrete understanding of what is expected, and how to reach certain benchmarks.” (Teachers First, 2016)



As stated by Teacher Vision in a Five Part series on Rubrics, in the fifth part titled, Student-Generated Rubrics, “Reading or listening to a teacher’s expectations is very different for a student than creating and accomplishing his or her own goals. The purpose of inviting students to develop their own evaluation structure is to improve their motivation, interest, and performance in the project. As students’ overall participation in school increases, they are likely to excel in it.”

An example rubrics was offered and a discussion of the process that was taken in its creation.

Rubric Development

I created the preliminary outline by listing the learning outcomes that were to be emphasized in the project. The outcomes were then divided into suitable categories, and sample products were displayed and discussed.

I proceeded to introduce the idea of the rubric to the students, who then generated many ideas for the rubric criteria. Students were asked to think about what parts of the design, construction, budget, and building journal were the most significant to the overall bridge quality. Together, the class came up with four different rubrics.”


As stated by the author in summary, “Developing a rubric is a reflective process that extends the experience and the knowledge gained beyond simply turning in a project for a teacher-initiated grade.” (Teacher Vision 2015).

So, when student create their own rubrics or assessments, is it then a form of a reflective process that is initiated before the learning even takes place. With this initial attention, I believe the learning outcome will be stronger.

I am not in a situation where this can be done, being that the curriculum I use is created by curriculum development teams and cannot be changed, This is so as to hold, not only to a consistent standard across sections. but for accreditation requirements, as well. Furthermore, with the popular trend for learning analytics which uses much of the assessment data generated in the classroom, things cannot be easily changed, otherwise the results would be undermined.  So, while, learning analytics is offering us much insight into the learning process, it also curbs the flexibility of what can be done in some classrooms.

However, I would be interested in seeing this in practice. I do think is has great potential and benefits and may take the student-centered classroom to the next level.

Have any of you done this? If so, what have been your experiences?


NOBA. (2015). Using Student-created Assessments in the Class -or- How to Get Students More into Their Own Learning, Retrieved from

Teachers First. (2016). Involving Students in Creating Rubrics. Retrieved from

Teacher Vision. ( 2015). Student-Generated Rubrics. Retrieved from



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