Abstract Although professors may be aware that rubrics shorten grading time and improve grading consistency, many are not aware that rubrics offer a powerful analytical punch. Given the demands for active learning in today s college classroom, rubrics allow instructors to focus on analytical quality while engaging students in a variety of assignments. Rubrics are useful not only in more traditional applications for example, papers and oral presentations but also for more creative purposes. Using rubrics in both self and peer assessment engages students more in assignments, allowing them to reflect on their own performance and their peers. Going one step further, instructors can engage students in the construction of rubrics that will be used to grade their own work. Finally, rubrics force instructors to be clear about their own purposes for an assignment, and over time, instructors can become more attuned to the analytical possibilities in even traditional busywork assignments.