6 Reasons to Try a Single-Point Rubric | Edutopia

Feedback is one of the best ways to support student learning. According to John Hattie, Feedback has an effect size of .64 and is often considered as one of the top 5 influential factors on student learning, BUT… it is also the most variable. Most of the time the feedback students receive consists of answers to the questions: Where am I going? How am I going? But neglect the third essential answer to the question, Where to next? Rubrics can support this need and provide the type of feedback, by self, peer, or teacher, to move all students forward, but not all rubrics are created equal. Source: Blogging about the web 2.0. Thanks to Steven W. Anderson for sharing this.

This led me to the article in Edutopia; A format that provides students with personalized feedback and works to keep them from focusing solely on their grade. Below I have included an example of a Single Point Rubric. The single-point rubric includes only guidance on and descriptions of successful work—without listing a grade. In the example below, you can see that the rubric describes what success looks like in four categories, with space for the teacher to explain how the student has met the criteria or how he or she can still improve.

Here are the reasons given in the Edutopia article to try the Single Point Rubric. I will try this next time my students hand in an assignment. To be presented before the assignment of course.

1. It gives space to reflect on both strengths and weaknesses in student work. Each category invites teachers to meaningfully share with students what they did really well and where they might want to consider making some adjustments.

2. It doesn’t place boundaries on student performance. The single-point rubric doesn’t try to cover all the aspects of a project that could go well or poorly. It gives guidance and then allows students to approach the project in creative and unique ways. It helps steer students away from relying too much on teacher direction and encourages them to create their own ideas.

3. It works against students’ tendency to rank themselves and to compare themselves to or compete with one another. Each student receives unique feedback that is specific to them and their work, but that can’t be easily quantified.

4. It helps take student attention off the grade. The design of this rubric emphasizes descriptive, individualized feedback over the grade. Instead of focusing on teacher instruction in order to aim for a particular grade, students can immerse themselves in the experience of the assignment.

5. It creates more flexibility without sacrificing clarity. Students are still given clear explanations for the grades they earned, but there is much more room to account for a student taking a project in a direction that a holistic or analytic rubric didn’t or couldn’t account for.

6. It’s simple! The single-point rubric has much less text than other rubric styles. The odds that our students will actually read the whole rubric, reflect on given feedback, and remember both are much higher. Edutopia.

Source: 6 Reasons to Try a Single-Point Rubric | Edutopia


  1. I felt a surge of relief as I was reading this. I have always wanted to use rubrics in an efficient manner, but in my experience it never works out as intended; the students do not read or use them, and I spend too much effort trying to figure out in what ways the students might not live up to expectations when writing them. I just sat down and adapted one of my many rubrics to a simple single point one, and I’m excited to see how it will work out with the stack of essays I just received. I definitely see the potential (just don’t let me be disappointed again!)

    1. Follow up: I gave out my first bunch of these to a class this week, not having let them know about it beforehand. One of the students spontaneously exclaimed “This is the best feedback I have ever gotten”. Great success! Don’t mean to #humblebrag, but it is definitively something I will continue using.

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