A rubric is simply a scoring tool that identifies the various criteria relevant to an assignment or learning outcome, and then explicitly states the possible levels of achievement along a continuum (poor to excellent or novice to expert). Rubrics can be used to assess almost any type of student work be it essays, final projects, oral presentations, or theatrical performances. They can be used at the time that an assignment is made to communicate expectations to students, when student work is evaluated for fair and efficient grading, and to assess a program by determining the extent to which students are achieving departmental learning outcomes. The focus of this introduction is on rubrics for departmental assessment of student learning, however, the same principles can be used for grading assignments or providing students with self-assessment materials.
Huba, M. E. & Freed, J. E. (2000). Learner-centered assessment on college campuses: Shifting the focus from teaching to learning. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Stevens, D. D. & Levi, A.J. (2005) Introduction to rubrics: An assessment tool to save grading time, convey effective feedback and promote student learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus.