Rubrics and UDL

Well-constructed rubrics allow all learners to better understand the outcomes of the assessment, how they will be graded and plan their time accordingly to complete the work to the best of their ability. In addition, when assignment expectations are clearly defined on a rubric, grading can be more efficient and concise.

UDL does not have an ideal rubric type, that is to say, the ideal rubric for UDL is one that accurately supports the measurement of learner knowledge of the course learning outcome(s) without constricting the options of how a learner can show what they know. A rubric designed with UDL in mind:

  • Is based on the learning outcome(s) being measured, not the assessment or submission method.
  • Is provided to learners with the assignment outline to ensure they know how they will be graded, and what knowledge is being assessed.
  • Applies to all of the submission options offered to the learners (see the Submission Options webpage for more information).

Educators sometimes feel that they need to have a different rubric for each way a student can submit an assessment, but this is not the case. If the rubric is based on evaluating the learning outcome(s) the assessment is for, and worded appropriately for a variety of submission options, one rubric will be able to support a larger variety of assessment submission options. For example, if your assessment allows learners to choose if they would like to write an essay, create a video presentation, or develop a detailed infographic, including spelling and grammar in the rubric will not support all possible submission options. Instead, using a phrase like “clearly articulate” would encompass all of the submission options offered making one rubric sufficient and useable for all submissions.


To implement:

  1. Determine the right type of rubric for your course and your assessments (see the Rubric Design webpage for more information).
  2. Adapt the rubric to meet the specific needs of the learning outcome(s) being assessed.
  3. Post the rubric with the assessment and draw learners’ attention to the rubric.

More information regarding how to create rubrics can be found on the Centre for Teaching & Learning’s Rubric Design webpage.