Rubric Library

To make peer feedback effective, it is important to help students focus their feedback. One way of doing this is by using feedback rubrics - but making good rubrics can be challenging. This page lists some of our favorite rubric examples and gives hints on how to make your own.

Rubric Questions


Text questions allow students to give each other personalized feedback and explain their reasoning. Some of the most effective text questions ask for examples, focus on specific elements of the assignment or encourage the student to reflect on their own work.


Scale questions are a form of scaffolding learning. A good descriptive scale helps the student understand the expectations and learning outcomes that should be achieved from the assignment. Some of the best scale questions use between 3-5 criteria but we also prefer not to use numbers. This way students focus on the content and feedback rather than a number.


These simple yes/no questions are ideal for gauging if the basic guidelines and formatting requirements were achieved. In Peergrade these questions can become more formative by requiring additional comments from the students.

Making Feedback Constructive


Feedback should include concrete examples to advise the receiver on how they can improve their work. These rubric questions can be used to move students from giving simply descriptive feedback (e.g. “these things are good and these things are bad”), to giving helpful, constructive feedback.


  • If the student were to complete this assignment again, what could they include or not include, to make the overall assignment better? Remember to give reasons for your answer.
  • Choose something you like about the essay and explain why you like it. How could the student build on this to make it even better next time?
  • If the student has not used the correct method to solve this problem, explain which method they should have used and why.

Making Feedback Specific


A common problem is that students will write feedback that is not specific enough. Some examples are “good report”, “great structure” etc. To invite students to be more specific, make text-criteria which “forces” the reviewer to point to a specific thing.


  • What is the best part of this hand-in?
  • Find 2 things that can be improved, and explain how
  • Find 3 sentences where the grammatical structure is wrong, explain why and show a correct alternative

Making Feedback Justified


Assessment should be coupled with justification so that the student receiving feedback understands the others student decision making. When the student giving feedback has to justify their answer, they will be encouraged to think through the process rather than making a quick decision. 


  • Explain your score using language from the rubric. You should have a definite reason, based on the rubric, for the 1-4 score you give. Explain why you assigned that score

  • Comment on the writer’s vocabulary. Is it simplistic or sophisticated and mature? Cite examples.
  • Does each paragraph provide supporting, specific details to develop/prove the topic sentence? If so, evaluate how well this was done. If not, give suggestions on what to add. Whether yes or no, give at least one suggestion on how to improve the details.

Making Feedback Kind


Part of giving feedback is learning how to be kind and fair while critiquing. There are questions that can be asked that help invite kindness.


  • What is the best part about the hand-in?
  • Is there anything about this video you feel has inspired you for your next video?
  • What is one strength of this writer’s work?

Making Feedback Relevant


It is important that the feedback is relevant to the work that is being reviewed. If the focus of the work is on proper grammar, then the feedback should also relate to that. Use criteria that force the reviewer to reflect upon the purpose of the feedback.


  • Explain in your own words what the author is trying to achieve. Are they successful?
  • Does the submitted work relate to the task? Explain why.

Giving Feedback on Grammar


Peer assessment is a great way for students to recognize and correct common grammatical mistakes. These examples come straight from courses using Peergrade for writing assignments.


  • How’s the grammar?

    • Many basic mistakes (e.g. tenses, subject-verb agreement, pronouns)

    • A few careless mistakes on basic items (e.g. tenses, subject-verb agreement, pronouns). Be careful.

    • Correct most of the time. There are a couple of minor mistakes, but they are easy to understand.

    • Accurate and a wide range of tenses, collocations, word forms etc.

  • What are some positive “style” moments in the essay? Any suggestions?

  • Overall use of correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation through the entire essay.
    • Severe Errors–makes reading the essay difficult
    • Moderate Errors–several errors, but can easily figure out what the author wanted to say
    • Some Errors–not error free, but does a good job

Training Critical Thinking with Feedback


Peer grading is an act of critical thinking in itself. Students take the assessment criteria and apply it to their peers’ work, all the while reasoning and justifying the feedback they are giving. These rubric questions prompt students to take this critical thinking even further.


  • Imagine that you are someone who strongly disagrees with the argument in this essay. How would you attempt to refute the argument? Think about:
    • The structure of the author’s argument: does it flow? Is it logical?
    • The clarity of their essay: is it easy to understand what the main points of their argument are?
    • The examples they’ve used: are they convincing/factual/subjective?
  • Name one thing that you have learned from reading this assignment. Name one thing that you’d like to know more about.
  • In your opinion, how likely is the business idea to be successful – considering pricing, marketing, and distribution channels? Explain your reasoning.
  • Does the student use concepts from the extended argumentation model to analyze the quote? Are these concepts used correctly?

Training Self-reflection with Feedback


The process of peer grading should cause students to reflect on the content and quality of their own work. These rubric questions prompt students to vocalize what they have learned about their own work by giving feedback to others.


  • Is there anything about this video you feel has inspired you for your next video?
  • If you were to go back and re-do your own assignment now, what would you change?
  • Have you learned anything new about the topic from reading this assignment? If your answer is yes, explain what you have learned.

Using Comparison (to own work) in Feedback


While students are giving feedback to their peers’ work, they should also be reflecting on their own work and how to improve it. These rubric questions prompt students to think about the similarities and differences between their own and other’s work, with the aim of guiding this process of self-reflection.


  • Has the student used the same method as you did to solve this problem? If not, explain which method you used and why. On balance, which method do you think is the most effective for this type of problem?
  • Find one thing in the essay that you think this student did better than you and explain why (consider structure, style, language, presentation of research). Explain one thing that you think you did better than this student in your own essay.

Using Perspectives when giving Feedback


Students can sometimes become frustrated with the feedback process. Highlighting different perspectives can encourage students to think about the work in a different way and help them write more effective feedback.


  • Thinking from a creative perspective, how could the author have been more innovative with their short film?
  • Only focusing on the positive aspects, what do you consider the best part of the film?
  • What do you feel needs to be improved about this video? Think visually and technically.

Giving Feedback in Creative Subjects


In creative subjects, it can be hard to think of the measures we want students to use when assessing each other’s work. These examples come from creative courses using Peergrade.


  • Please evaluate the musical success of the piece.
    • The piece did not really run
    • The piece ran but did not sound complete
    • The piece created was successful
    • The piece created was successful and original.
    • The piece created was successful, original, and spectacular
  • What do you feel needs to be improved about this video? Think visually and technically.
  • Pick two elements in the text, which you think work particularly well (e.g. the idea, the composition, the character description, the narration, the style, the mood, the language). Explain briefly why.
  • Briefly describe what effect the text had on you (if it had any). For example, what mood or feeling did you get from it?

Giving Feedback on Academic Writing


When writing academically, a lot of focus is put on using a certain structure, using formal language and presenting everything in clear and concise arguments. Using the right rubric criteria can help students understand how “proper” academic writing should look.


  • Pick 3 random references from the reference list and check if they actually claim what the author says.
  • How good is the structure and organization?
    • Absent or very weak explanation, articulation, and balance
    • Attempt to explain and articulate, but very weak
    • Attempt to explain/articulate, but unclear and/or confusing
    • Attempt to explain/articulate, but unclear
    • Mostly clear and coherent, with lapses
    • Quite well structured, organized and balanced
    • Well structured, organized and balanced
    • Excellent and clear

Giving Feedback in Technical & Natural Sciences


In the “harder” sciences where problems often have a right answer, making rubrics can be both harder and simpler. One approach is to make fact-based rubrics with correct answers in them. To ensure a focus on the process and not just on fact-checking solutions, use criteria that relate to the problem solving process.


  • In Problem 1, does the author find the answer to be 12?
  • Is Problem 2 solved correctly? If not, find the place where a mistake is made, describe what the mistake is, and how to correct it.
  • If possible, find a step in the solution to Problem 3 where the author can be more precise. Explain how to be more precise in this step.

Giving Feedback in Literature & Language Arts


One of the most common subjects to use rubrics are Language Arts or Literature. Rubrics should evaluate the students writing skills and ability to use basic concepts. Rubrics should also be clear and pointed but allow room for student interpretation.


  • What is your overall opinion of the quality of the essay? How can your classmate improve it? This is the time to offer kind, constructive criticism. Be polite but honest.

  • Does the essay have a hook?
    • No clear hook/ essay just begins and does not encourage reader to continue
    • weak hook/ attempted but not engaging
    • Strong and engaging hook
  • In your own words, what is the author’s message/purpose? How could this be more clearly worded/phrased?

  • Does the writer use adequate expressions for advice and regret? If so, which ones are ‘standouts’? If not, how could they have done better?