Holistic Rubrics

Infographic Holistic Rubric

Holistic rubrics allow you to assess students’ overall performance on an activity or assessment based on a single scale using predefined achievement levels. With a holistic rubric the instructor assigns a single score (usually on a 1 to 4 point scale) based on a judgment of the student’s overall work. 

There are two main components of a holistic rubric:

  • Scale (usually 4 levels in a scale)
  • Performance descriptions or criteria based on scale


  • Provides emphasis on what the learner is able to demonstrate (positive), rather than on deficits (negatives)
  • Saves grading time by minimizing the number of decisions an instructor needs to make while grading
  • Ability to be applied consistently by multiple instructors
  • Takes less time to create than traditional analytic rubrics
  • Less complex; easier for students to understand


  • Does not provide targeted feedback for improvement
  • Can be difficult to identify a grade for student work when the work spans different levels within the rubric; criteria cannot be weighted

Examples of Holistic Rubrics

Low & No Tech (Paper-based)

Paper-based rubric created using word processor:

Using Tech (Within and Outside of Moodle)

Moodle Holistic Rubric

Example of a holistic rubric in Moodle. Contact the Hub team to learn how to create a rubric in Moodle.

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