Assessment for Learning
Assessment for Learning: HomeAssessment tasksProfessional learningResourcesResearch background

Success criteria and rubrics

This Professional Learning module explains the role played by success criteria (criteria for assessment) and explores rubrics as one example of success criteria.

The learning intention of a lesson or series of lessons tells students what they should know, understand and be able to do, and the success criteria help teachers to decide whether their students have in fact achieved the learning intention. Importantly, the success criteria also answer the same question from the point of view of the student:

  • How will I know whether I've achieved the learning intention?

The term 'success criteria' was coined in the UK. It is synonymous with 'assessment criteria' but, instead of reminding students of their (perhaps negative) experiences of being assessed, this term focuses (much more positively) on students' ability to succeed.

Sometimes the success criteria might be just a series of dot points.

For lengthy assessment tasks, however, teachers often use rubrics which will provide students with the success criteria and also with descriptions of a number of different levels of performance in relation to those criteria.

This is part of a rubric which shows one of the success criteria and describes the three levels of performance that relate to that criterion.

The following links explore success criteria in more detail.