A rubric presents a public description of the criteria that distinguish good work from poor work, and it can be used to both promote and evaluate student learning in relation to intended learning outcomes. For students, carefully developed rubrics can be used to accomplish two broad aims: to educate students and to develop their capacity to judge their own work, thereby sending the message that ownership of their own learning is respected and valued.

A rubric can represent an affirmation of learner centred education. It can be used to establish a greater level of understanding and trust between the teacher and students. It can counter the notion that grading is a special secret activity. A rubric reveals the grading or scoring rules informing assessment judgements and decisions. Additionally, a rubric provides an instrument for student feedback that promotes assessment for learning. Rubrics have the capacity to clearly reveal vital information to students that enable them to improve their knowledge and skill levels.

Rubrics offer students a vision of what the teacher is seeking to accomplish through teaching and assessment and why it is important. Teachers can use a rubric to demonstrate how a particular set of skills and knowledge will compare with class objectives. They can also be used to compare objectives within a professional field, in an academic discipline or as a framework for developing graduate qualities.

Rubrics also can be a tool for more effective grading by supporting more efficient and consistent judgments by assessors and by providing basic feedback on key dimensions of performance and learning. However, rubrics are not appropriate for all assessment tasks and should not be relied upon as the only form of feedback to students.