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Intended Learning Outcome:

To identify assessment expectations


In this TLA students write a rubric for an assessment and then you reveal the actual rubric to them to compare.

A marking rubric is a guide used to assess the quality of assignments, using a classification system to help decide on the grade to give the piece of work. As well as being a guide for teachers they are also for students and can be a powerful tool in formative assessment, helping students to be aware of how their work will be assessed and how they can work towards developing the required skills to be successful.  

Carol Ann Tomlinson describes formative assessment as the ‘ongoing exchange between the teacher and his or her students designed to help students grow as vigorously as possible and to help teachers contribute to that growth as fully as possible’ (Tomlinson, 2014)


Share the learning outcomes for an up-coming assessment with your students.

In a group discussion, unpack each outcome, talking about what it means and what it looks like in the assessment and come up with a list of elements for each outcome.

Now ask students, in small groups, to come up with 3 or 4 categories for grading each element. For example, Not Achieved, Passed and Really Well Done (or you may wish to use the grading the markers will use – these may be more complex and take more time to unpack).

Discuss what each group has and create a class rubric.

Now compare that to the rubric that already exists for the assessment and discuss the similarities and differences.



Large Group Teaching:

This can work well with large groups.

Online Teaching:

In online classes, you can add to a rubric that you create in a spreadsheet and screen-share with the group.


Students are aware of the module assessment outcomes and know what success looks like

Next Steps:

Once students are aware of what is expected, you can try and use the rubric to produce parts of the assessment. For example, in performance, you could just focus on stagecraft; in a written assignment, you could ask students to write a brief section.

Ask the students to grade themselves and each other, to help them develop their awareness of the required levels.

Remember, formative assessment isn’t just about work to pass the assessment, it is helping the students to grow, so try and also focus on those aspects of development as well as assessment success.

Links to other activities:

Further reading:


Tomlinson, C. A. (2014) ‘The Bridge Between Today’s Lesson and Tomorrow’s’, Educational Leadership, 71(6), pp. 10–14.

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