Section 2: Types of Scoring Criteria

Section 2 is an introduction to the types of scoring criteria we use in assessment. You will have an option to create one of the tools below for your upcoming course. By the end of this section, you will understand proper structure and types of assessments/activities to evaluate student learning. This should take you 30 – 50 minutes to complete.

Guiding Questions

Please think about these questions before you being this section:

  1. What assessments can you administer online with technologies available to all of your students?
  2. What assessments do you need to change in your upcoming course?

Types of Scoring Criteria

We will discuss three types of scoring criteria in this section: checklists, analytic rubrics, and holistic rubrics. Please note that scoring criteria can be retooled for use within a course with a few simple tweaks (e.g., using the same rubric for multiple discussion forums) and between courses (e.g., repeatedly using the same checklist for project requirements for different courses). You may want to use checklists and rubrics for grading exams, projects, and other assignments.

  • A checklist is an assessment tool that is used to grade students based on the presence or absence of knowledge, behaviours, and skills. Checklists itemize the tasks you want students to do. Read through Saint Anselm College’s example with a rationale here.
  • An analytic rubric is a way to break down specific parts of your assignment. It provides a scale of performance for you to measure your students’ achievement. This is a more detailed approach to grading and provides a clear picture of your expectations for an assignment.
  • A holistic rubric is simpler than an analytic rubric. Generally, it has 3 – 5 levels of performance (score) and a description that defines how students will achieve the grade for each level. Holistic rubrics look at the entire assignment and grades it on a single scale.


  Read through the first two portions of Jennifer Gonzalez’s breakdown of holistic and analytic rubrics here.

STOP: The next sections are directly related to the specific activity and assessment tool you are going to (re)design. Before you select your option, we recommend you consider your upcoming course and choose the assignment/assessment you believe takes the most priority. You are not expected to read through each option. Please only visit the one section that pertains to your choice of one of the following:

  1. Option 1: Designing a Discussion Forum with accompanying scoring criteria
  2. Option 2: Altering an In-Person, Synchronous Exam into an Alternative Exam
  3. Option 3: Adjusting Hands-On Projects for Online Learning
  4. Option 4: Transforming In-Person Presentations into Virtual Presentations
  • You can use this infographic to determine if you need to put your exam online or choose an alternative method of assessment. Feel free to use this tool before making your decision:

Forsythe, G. [@guiliaforsythe]. (2020, March 15). “so… you need to put your course online” flowchart… now generic and explicitly CCBY. [Tweet; Image]. Twitter.

It is also recommended that you reference the Tool Boxes and FAQ as needed. If you are looking for more information before you get working on your activity, you can follow these links below. A new page of the book will open in a new tab.


Next step: Click one of the activities you would like to complete for your class (the link will guide you to the next place you should go to in the book):

NOTE: do not click ‘next page’ here. You need to choose which activity you want to complete by following the links in one of the options below.

  1. Create a Discussion Forum for my class,
  2. Change an Exam to an online exam,
  3. Alter a hands-on project into an online project for my class, or
  4. Transform an in-person presentation to an online presentation

Extended Resources 

Brock University. (n.d.). Flexible teaching and learning. Retrieved April 16, 2020 from


Forsythe, G. [@guiliaforsythe]. (2020, March 15). “so… you need to put your course online” flowchart… now generic and explicitly CCBY. [Tweet; Image]. Twitter.

Gonzalez, J. (2014, May 1). Know your terms: Holistic, analytic, and single-point rubrics. Cult of Pedagogy.



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Fit for Online Learning Copyright © 2020 by U of L Teaching Centre: Jördis Weilandt, Erin Reid, Kristi Thomas, Brandy Old, and Jeff Meadows is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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