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Single-Point Rubric

Providing more detailed feedback to students by focusing scoring rubrics solely on meeting mastery


While Trailblazer uses traditional rubrics, they also employ a single-point rubric to help improve their students’ pursuit of mastery. Instead of a traditional rubric, generally ranging from one to four, the single-point rubric has a single point demonstrating whether or not the student “meets” mastery for each objective. Anything that is not considered “meets” indicates that the student has “not yet” met mastery of the learning objective. Students are also able to go beyond mastery if so inclined. Often a student will meet mastery by showing an understanding of a concept, and go beyond mastery by showing real-world applications of the concept or skill.

The single-point rubric helps Trailblazer and its students better pursue mastery-based education. Educators found that traditional rubrics led their students to focus too much on the numbers assigned as a fixed grade, and that students were complacent about receiving a one or two. By using a rubric that reframes the performance conversation in terms of having “not yet” mastered material, students are more aware that they have multiple attempts at mastery and stay motivated to continue working towards mastery. Additionally, by creating so much additional space on the rubric, teachers are able to provide detailed feedback for students to help them understand precisely where they are in their learning and how they can improve.

Student Does

  • Completes work as assigned.
  • Reviews feedback from single-point rubric to determine how they can improve and “meet” mastery within a learning objective.

Teacher Does

  • Determines whether a student has met, not yet met, or exceeded mastery within a learning objective.
  • Provides detailed feedback about what each student could be doing to move from “not yet” to mastery of a learning objective.
  • Records mastery of concepts or skills in their gradebook.

Technology Does

  • Provides online gradebook to record and track mastery progress.

Strategy Resources

Parent Example: Competency-Based Learning at Trailblazer

Mrs. Vasquez, a teacher and a parent at Trailblazer, discusses the benefits of competency-based learning... Learn More

Trailblazer Single-Point Rubric

This single-point rubric simplifies the process of assessing mastery, allowing teachers to easily and frequently... Learn More

Single-Point Rubric Article

This article explains the rationale behind single-point rubrics and how to build them. Learn More

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