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.

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