Key Skills Rubrics

Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and more.

Everyone is talking about key skills, not everyone is thinking about how to assess locally in ways that are relevant.

Increasingly school districts are acknowledging the critical role of 21st Century Skills in preparing students for college and a career in today’s high tech, global, connected society. The 21st Century Skills include such skills as critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, self-direction, information literacy, global and cultural awareness.

As school districts begin to address these skills within the curriculum, they immediately recognize the need to assess their students’ progress. A very common way to to gauge performance progress of students on a myriad of skills, processes, and habits of mind is the use of rubrics. To that end, the rubrics for each of the key skills are now available for public purchase. 

The rubrics include definitions and scaled descriptions for creativity, critical thinking, curiosity, economic literacy, communication, self-direction, and more. 

Educators who use these starter rubrics will find them to be an excellent starting point for the development of rubrics customized for their students, curricula, classrooms, and units of study. Metiri Group spent several years conducting the background research necessary to develop these continua. Our intent was to provide teachers with explicit criteria by which to gauge students’ progress. Each 21st Century Skills rubric defines the skill; identifies specific behavioral, cognitive, and affective qualities of each 21st century skill; describes levels of progress toward each of these qualities; and positions each skill in the context of today’s digital society.

Early in our development of the rubrics, it became clear that many of the skills identified were not new constructs; existing research was able to substantially inform the qualities that make up those skills. What these sources typically did not address (with some exceptions) was the shape these skills can take, either in 21st century learning environments or in the context of the technology tools available today. The strategy for developing the rubrics was two-fold: we drew on existing work as much as possible to inform the content of the continua, and we supplemented this content with our own expertise on teaching and learning in digital-age classrooms. Specific sources used to generate each of the student profiles and continua are listed in this document by skill.

Our 21st Century Skills rubrics are a packet of over 57 pages that include definitions, sub skills, and full rubrics for all the skills.

Get the rubric for Adaptability/Managing Complexity

Get the rubric for Creativity

Get the rubric for Critical Thinking

Get the rubric for Curiosity

Get the rubric for Economic Literacy

Get the rubric for Effective Use of Real-World Tools

Get the rubric for Global Awareness

Get the rubric for Higher-Order Thinking and Sound Reasoning

Get the rubric for Information Literacy

Get the rubric for Interactive Communication

Get the rubric for Interpersonal Skills

Get the rubric for Multicultural Literacy

Get the rubric for Personal Responsibility

Get the rubric for Prioritizing, Planning, and Managing for Results

Get the rubric for Relevant, High-Quality Products

Get the rubric for Risk-Taking

Get the rubric for Scientific Literacy

Get the rubric for Self-Direction

Get the rubric for Social and Civic Responsibility

Get the rubric for Teaming and Collaboration

Get the rubric for Technological Literacy

Get the rubric for Visual Literacy