LEO Guides

About GradeMark rubrics

Before you start

Review the learning outcomes of the unit and ensure that the assessment task you have designed provides adequate opportunity for students to demonstrate that they have satisfied the intended learning outcomes and embedded graduate attributes.

Understanding the terms 'criteria' and 'standards'

It is important to have a clear understanding of the key terms in a rubric and what they mean. Having this knowledge will mark the task of developing a rubric easier.

NOTE: The rubric may already be developed and included in your unit outline.

Key elements include:

  • Criterion: the word 'criterion' refers to a characteristic that can be judged, and should be linked to the learning outcomes of your unit.
  • Standards: the word 'standards' defines a level of achievement or attainment in a Turnitin rubric . They are also referred to as 'scales'.

Getting started

There are three rubric types to select from:

Standard rubric: criteria weighted using percentages

Standard rubric

Custom rubric: score allocated to each standard cell

Custom rubric with scales

Qualitative rubric: text feedback, no percentages or standard scoring are included

Criteria and standards are intended to provide clear guidelines for the student about what they need to demonstrate in order to achieve a particular level of attainment. They can also be used by lecturers to provide feedback and mark assignments.

Criteria should be:

  • linked to learning outcomes
  • observable: describe what the student needs to demonstrate
  • descriptive: linked to learning outcomes not assessment components
  • distinctive: each criteria describes a separate aspect of the learning outcomes

NOTE: In Turnitin a criteria title has limited characters and can only be one word. More descriptive information about the criteria can be added directly under the criterion title.

Turnitin requires that each standard has a text label. The labels need to linked in some way to the model to be used to calculate final grades so that is describes and supports this process. The number of standards is important when getting the right balance.

NOTE: In Turnitin it is not possible to include a range or  decimal points in a standard, only whole numbers with a value. This means you may need to consider creating more than one standard for a level of attainment such as a HD,DI, CR, PA and NN or consider entering you grades including those with decimal points, directly into Gradebook.

When deciding on the number of standards in a rubric it is important to keep a balance, in order to ensure fairness and consistency for both students and markers. If considering adding a number of standards to a rubric, you should consider the complexity this creates for both the students and markers. If considering using 6 scales consider whether the whole number is representative e e.g  at the top of a grade range, in the middle of the range or at the bottom of the range.

Examples of standard rubric

Note: Rubrics standards can start from right to left or left to right


scales: NN, PA, CR, DI HD or HD, DI, DR, PA, NN

Standard rubric including a high range for each standard Non-attempt 0, NN 49; PA 64, CR 74, DI 84, HD 100 e.g. 1001-0

Standard rubric including a mid range for each standard Non-attempt 0, NN 40, PA 60 , CR 70, DI 80, HD 90 e.g. 90-25

Standard rubric mid range

Standard rubric including a low range for each standard Non-Attempt 0, NN 0, PA 50, CR 65, DI 75, HD 85

Standard rubric including multiple standards to create a range: NN, NN, PA, PA, CR, CR, DI, HD HD 100-0

Rubric standard range

Example of a custom rubric

Its important to get the pass threshold right and the variations in standards (scores).

Custom rubric decimal points

NOTE: a custom rubric can include decimal points in the individual cells however the final grade will be calculated and displayed as a whole grade in the grade field.

Example of a qualitative rubric

Qualitative rubric range

Turnitin allows you to set a points value that will automatically be transferred to the Gradebook when marking students work in GradeMark.

In the assignment settings you can enable a grade for the whole assignment. A Turnitin assignments can include up to 5 parts (separate file uploads). Each part allows the student to upload 1 file and each part can include its own mark for the file submission and start/due date. However the overall grade for the Turnitin assignment is based on the points mark entered under Grades in the Turnitin assignment settings. By default this grade is set as 100 points. If you are using a rubric to calculate the overall grade the marks entered for a part or parts will be calculated out the overall grade for the assignment.


If the overall grade for a Turnitin assignment overall grade was 30 and one part is being marked out of 100, then a mark of 80/100 would be displayed in the Gradebook as 24/30. Alternatively, if using letter grades in the Gradebook, the student would get DI.

Grade overall

NOTE: A rubric is attached to the whole Turnitin assignment not individual parts. If you have an assignment with multiple parts the same rubric will be displayed for each part.

Whether you choose to create and add a rubric to an assignment before students submit or after, it is a good practice to check, test and revise your rubric before attaching the rubric to an assignment. Once you have started grading it is more difficult to unattach the rubric to make changes. Unattaching a rubric after you have started grading students' work will also erase any feedback which you have already entered.

Before you attach a rubric to a Turnitin assignment you should check:

  • grammatical consistency
  • check the standards and criteria
  • check the scoring or values assigned

The use of a rubric does assist with consistency between markers within a teaching team ,however it is best practice to have moderation processes in place and provide marker training.