Marking criteria not only make grading more clear for the students, but they help make the job of the marker easier and more consistent. Marking criteria should align with learning outcomes in the same way that assessments do. Clear and explicit marking criteria should be included with every assessment, and they should cover what is needed to pass the assessment and receive various grades. Students should have opportunities to engage with the marking criteria before the assessment, which could even include creating or refining the criteria with you.

Marking criteria can be integrated with Turnitin Feedback Studio, further enhancing the transparency and continuity of the assessments. For more details, see our Turnitin Feedback Studio help pages.


Creating marking criteria

Although creating marking criteria may seem daunting at first, you are likely to be building marking criteria in your head while you grade. Getting this down on paper helps you and your learners. Here is an example from an oral exam:

Dimensions Excellent Competent Developing Incomplete
Overall Comprehension Deep and robust understanding of concepts Some understanding of concepts Superficial understanding of concepts Relevant concepts not mentioned or explained incorrectly
Argument Clearly articulates argument/ position Limited scope of argument/ position Unfocused or ambiguous argument/ position Argument/ position is absent
Structure Logic apparent in the progression of ideas, easy to follow Idea progression is partly disjointed or intermittent, mostly possible to follow Logic and flow is largely missing, sometimes difficult to follow No clear progression of ideas, very difficult to follow


(Modified from Ambrose et al., 2023)

For more examples of marking criteria, see Appendix E of How Learning Works (Ambrose et al., 2023)There are also many online examples for different disciplines and types of assessment.

Group work

How you plan to allocate grades is important when creating marking criteria for group work.

  • Do you plan to give a mark that is consistent across the group, wholly individual, or some combination thereof?
  • Will you be the only one grading the group work, or do you intend to use a peer assessment component?
  • If so, will the peer assessment take place within each group or between groups?

Marking group work requires some extra considerations; how best to tackle them depends on you and your context.