What are Rubrics?

A rubric is a set of criteria used to evaluate and grade exams and assignments in a consistent and objective manner. It typically consists of criteria and skill levels, allowing graders to assign scores based on predetermined standards.

In the TomaGrade system, you can create two types of rubrics:

  • Simple: No subdivision into criteria
  • Advanced: With subdivision into criteria

Rubrics are built specifically for each question in the system.

Benefits of Using Rubrics

  • Efficiency and Speed: The assessment criteria allow for fast and clear grading, saving time on deliberation and comparisons, while maintaining high standards of assessment.
  • Fairness and Consistency: The rubric provides an objective framework for assessment, providing a uniform, fair, and unbiased score.
  • Feedback: Creating criteria allows students to deeply understand their performance level and specifically the areas they need to improve in.
  • Efficient Sharing of Grading: The rubric allows lead instructors to create a uniform grading framework for all partners.
  • Transparency: Revealing the rubric to students allows for clear coordination of expectations, clarity, and reduces "guesses" and "question marks" about the scores they received.

Creating a Rubric

You can create a rubric in the "Rubrics" tab or directly in the "Rubrics" section within the grading screen.

See how in the following video:

How to Grade with the Rubric

Once you have created the exam, you can grade it using the rubric in the grading screen.

Choosing a Grading Method

Clicking on  one of the "performance levels" boxes in the rubric  in the grading screen will display the "Choosing Grading Method" window. The message alerts that using the rubric for the specific notebook will disable the other grading tools (using the G button and the option to enter scores directly in the questions panel).

  • Click "Confirm" to grade with the rubric.
  • Check the "Do not show this screen again" box if you want to apply this grading method to all notebooks in the exam.

Read here more about choosing a grading method

Scoring Options

  • Annotate on select: when activated, you can add a score with the grade annotation and the text associated with the rubric.
    1. Activate G as a selection
    2. Click on the relevant rubric
    3. Click on with the G on the notebook
    4. The score will be added together with the rubric heading and description

  • By clicking with the mouse on the rubric (when "Annotate on select" is off)

How to Change an Existing Rubric

You can change the rubric in the Rubrics tab in the main screen or in the grading screen.

If you have already graded using the rubric, the changes will be applied to all scores given, including its removal.

Editing a Rubric in the Grading Screen

  1. Click to edit (click on V to confirm the change)
  2. Delete a performance level 
  3. Add a new performance level
  4. Add a new criteria to the question

Editing a Rubric in the Rubrics Tab

  1. Add a performance level 
  2. Change the position of the performance level *
  3. Delete performance level 
  4. Update title/score/description by clicking and typing in the box

*You can also change the position of a level by dragging it:

Selection type

You can set (for each criteria) a selection type for the performance levels:

1. Single select - allowing you to grade by only one of the performance levels under the criteria.

2. Multi select - allowing you to grade by all of the performance levels under the criteria

Setting selection type in the grading screen rubrics

Setting selection type in the rubrics tab

Note that in multi-selection grading you will be prevented exceeding the maximum points of the question 

Working with Criteria

What is Criterion?

A criterion is an assessment category to which different performance levels can be assigned.

You can create multiple criteria for each question.

Using Criteria

Example Case

The following table shows a rubric for a question from an "Introduction to Programming" exam. The maximum score for the question is 50 points:


Rubric Settings for a Question

Note: The settings apply only to the specific question and not to all questions in the exam.

Opening the Settings Window

To open the settings window, click on the gear icon in the question title within the rubric screen (this is available on the main screen in the rubrics tab as well as on the grading screen).


  1. Scoring Type: Display the score as a percentage or as points.
  2. Rating Method: Allow only negative grading (subtraction from maximum), positive grading only, or a combination of both.
  3. Validate Criteria: You can require graders to assign a score to each of the criteria created in the rubric. If the checkbox is checked and not all criteria are checked, the score in the confirmation window will appear as "Partial".
  4. Score Bounds: The maximum and minimum available score for the question. Display only and cannot be changed from this screen.

Please note that according to the institute's settings, there are settings that are only available to the course instructor and not to the grading partners.

Individual Adjustments (Customized Grading)

You can give the exam taker a grade for a question that is not part of the rubric you created by using the "Individual Adjustments" tool.

To give a customized grade:

  1. Type the score in the "Individual Adjustments" box
  2. Add a note that will appear next to the customized score annotation (optional).
  3. Add a grade annotation (optional): Click on the G in the "Individual Adjustments" window and then click on the exam notebook to add the annotation.