Most higher-ed design faculty can look at a student’s graphic design solution and quickly measure its success in solving the design problem. As practiced designers and educators, many of us can assign a grade at first glance—we know when a solution is outstanding, meets expectations, or does not meet expectations, and so on.
Since I’ve been employing a rubric, a scoring guide used to articulate expectations and assess components of an assignment, my students have a much better understanding of my expectations and how I evaluate their work. If you’re lucky enough to have a TA, a rubric clarifies expectations for the TA, as well.
The benefits of a rubric are numerous. For students, a rubric provides a window into your method of assessment. Often, students will better understand the components of an assignment, as well. They may become more aware of their progress in building specific conceptual and creative skills. Because students become aware of how design solutions are judged for efficacy and merit, they then can use the rubric to critique their own work.
Rubrics help instructors:
· Clarify expectations and components of an assignment
· Assess assignments consistently from one student to another
· Clarify assignments and instructional goals
I include notes with the rubric evaluation to narrate what the students need to do to improve their critical thinking and design. Usually my rubrics, although somewhat tailored specifically to each assignment, have the following categories, each worth 25 points adding up to 100 points (use any scale to calculate):
Design Concept (Plus a narrative of exactly what I’m looking for here.)
Composition: Use of design principles including visual hierarchy, balance, unity (with variety), and rhythm.
Type/Image Synergy (Plus a narrative of exactly what I’m looking for here.)
Visual Communication and Impact (Plus a narrative of exactly what I’m looking for here.)
Best wishes for happy grading!