Carnegie Mellon University

Eberly Center

Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation

Instructor: Heather Kelley
The Poetics of Gameplay, College of Fine Arts
Rubric for Assessing Project Work (pdf)


I developed a new, project-based studio course that had clearly articulated project assignments, but no grading criteria. Furthermore, even though I clearly stated that the goal of the course was to design a game that is not only fun, but also playable and workable in real time, many students have preconceived notions about how game design works. My goal was to create explicit rubrics for the design of a successful, playable game, which would clarify my expectations for student performance and my own grading process.


I developed a rubric that assessed the different aspects of designing a successful, playable game, such as originality and design process. Students were given the rubric with the assignment guidelines for the project.


The rubric has been successful in three key ways. First, it has reinforced my expectations for the project to students and helped to guide them through the project. Second, it has made grading the final projects much easier. Third, it has made me more confident in justifying grades to students.


I had difficulty designing the rubric itself because I had no examples or templates to guide me.

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