How are open response assessments graded?

- Grading for every type of assessment step in an ORA assignment is done by comparing each response against the same set of guidelines, called a rubric. Every open response assessment has a rubric provided by the course team.

  • A rubric consists of several criteria and a set of options for each criterion.


  • Each criterion describes characteristics that a response should have.
  • For example, "Determine if there is a unifying theme or main idea" or "Assess the content of the submission" are possible criteria for assessing a response.


  • Each criterion has options which describe how well each response satisfies the criterion. The options are usually a range of ratings, with details to help you decide the rating, and an associated point value.
  • For example, this table shows the options for the criterion "Determine if there is a unifying theme or main idea".
  • Option Description Points
    Poor Difficult to understand the main idea. Too brief or too repetitive to establish or maintain a focus. 0
    Fair Presents a unifying theme or main idea, but includes minor tangents. Stays somewhat focused on topic and task. 3
    Good Presents a unifying theme or main idea without going off on tangents. Stays completely focused on topic and task. 5
  • When you assess a response, you evaluate the response, and for each criterion, select the option that best describes how well the response met that criterion.