Rubrics are guides that help to score and grade the performance of students. Rubrics can be used by both instructors and students when creating, scoring, grading, or providing feedback on course tasks and assignments. These performance guides can help to provide a common understanding between students and instructors regarding the learning and performance expectations. Rubrics can also be used to evaluate student work collected for purposes of assessment, program evaluation, and improvement of student learning.

Rubrics: Using Assessment to Promote Learning

“ To promote learning, assessments must incorporate genuine feedback that learners can employ in redirecting their efforts. In other words, assessment information must reveal to learners an understanding of how their work compares to a standard, the consequences of remaining at their current level of skill or knowledge, as well as information about how to improve, if improvement is needed” (p. 154).

“A rubric reveals,…, the scoring ‘rules.’ It explains to students the criteria against which their work will be judged…it makes public key criteria that students can use in developing, revising, and judging their own work” (p. 155).

Source: Huba, M., & Freed, J. (2000). Learner-centered assessment on college campuses: Shifting the focus from teaching to learning. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon. Chapter 6

Why are rubrics used?

Beyond scoring, there are six reasons for using rubrics, to:

  1. Focus instruction
  2. Guide feedback
  3. Characterize desired results
  4. Operationalize outcomes
  5. Develop self-assessment competence
  6. Involve students