Rubrics are simply assessment tools that
foster student learning, while at the same time helping teachers
evaluate student progress more effectively. These tools are essentially
qualitative and criterion-referenced in nature, and are frequently
developed by teachers or other evaluators to guide the assessment of
student products and performances.
More specifically, rubrics are descriptive scoring schemes that allow
educators to assess a product or performance according to varying levels
of quality. They typically consist of a set of guidelines that state the
dimensions to be assessed, accompanied by a set of specific criteria
that spell out the required characteristics for each achievement level
and then assign corresponding values to these levels. In essence, these
proficiency levels clearly define for both student and teacher the
continuum from excellent to unacceptable (or vice versa) in reference to
the product or performance being evaluated.