The best rubrics are designed by learners who are investigating and defining quality work. Rubrics allow learners to articulate criteria based on this discovery. The rubrics they design can then guide their own work and inform the feedback that they provide to peers. Creating a great rubric isn’t a simple undertaking for learners or for teachers, and when people set out to do so without studying how to do it most effectively, a whole lot of ugly and awful unfolds.
Unfortunately, this is much of what the internet has to offer when I go looking for resources or conversation about rubrics. Quite a few people have created quite a few lousy rubrics and used them in quite a few lousy ways. This has perpetuated more than a few misperceptions and a whole bunch of bad practice. It’s also inspired a bunch of criticism, pieces of which I agree with. Poorly designed rubrics are often used for the wrong purposes, and when this happens, many can be hurt. It frustrates me when people decide that rubrics are everything from useless to evil based on misinformation, though.
So, hats off to my friend Jennifer Borgioli at Learner Centered Initiatives for creating what may very well be the best of what the web has to offer relevant to rubric design and use. I hope you will bookmark this wiki and share it with those you know.