Using rubrics in your courses

In this article, you'll learn how to add rubrics to courses, how to link them with various types of coursework, and how to use them to grade that work.

Adding a rubric to the course

You can create a new rubric just for your course or duplicate one of your school's global rubrics.

  1. Go to the course Settings view and click the Rubrics tab.
  2. Click Add a rubric.
  3. Choose whether to add a new rubric or duplicate an existing one.
  4. You can duplicate global rubrics or a rubric you've already added to this course. Check the radio buttons next to the rubric you'd like to duplicate.
  5. If need be, change the rubric's name.
  6. When you're done, click Save.

Now that you've added this rubric, you can start adding it to assignments and coursework; you can also modify it and its criteria, if necessary.

Adding rubrics to assignments

You can add rubrics to any assignment (except test- and attendance-type assignments). Peer review assignments let you add rubrics only after you enable certain grading options. These will all be covered, below.

To add a rubric to an assignment:

  • When creating the assignment in the course Assignments view, you can select a global or course rubric for the following assignment types: grade-only, file, discussion, and essay.
  • You can add a rubric to an existing assignment (of one of the above types) on the assignment's page. Click edit next to Info and select a rubric in the dialog box.

You can add a rubric to discussion assignments; you can also use a rubric to grade individual discussion comments/replies:

  • The discussion must be a graded discussion.
  • In the discussion settings, click Grade Comments or Grade Replies. You can select a rubric below the points field.

You can use rubrics in peer review assignments:

  • When you edit the peer review assignment's info, you can select peer grading and other options.
  • To allow students to use the rubric to grade one another's submissions, check Peer Grading and select a rubric for Submissions. If you do not enable peer grading, only you can use the rubric to grade student submissions.
  • Select a rubric for Reviews so you can use it to grade student reviews.

Grading an assignment with a rubric

After you've added a rubric to an assignment, you can grade student work using the rubric in any place where you can enter regular grades:

  • On the main assignment page.
  • On the individual student assignment view.
  • On the student course summary Assignments view.
  • If you're using a rubric for a discussion, you'll see it in the Enter Grades interface for discussion comments/replies.
  • If you're using a rubric for a peer-review assignment, you can use it to grade the student's submission (and if you've enabled peer grading, your students can use it, too).

To use the rubric:

  1. In any place where you can enter assignment grades, click Enter grades.
  2. In regular assignments, click to open the rubric scoring dialog.
    • In peer review assignments and graded discussions, click Enter grades.
  3. The rubric dialog divides the grade/score you've assigned for the coursework among the different criterion levels. To score the student's work, you can either:
    • Click the criterion level with the appropriate score/evaluation. This autofills the scoring field.
    • Enter a number in the scoring field. This highlights the corresponding criterion level.
  4. Enter a comment under each criterion score (optional).
  5. When you're done, click Save Rubric Scores.

After you've used the rubric:

  • The student's assignment grade will reflect the rubric score as appropriate (discussion and peer review scores will be factored into the grade calculation).
  • You can view/edit the student's rubric by clicking .
  • You will no longer be able to edit the rubric or the criteria that you used to score the student's work. You will only be able to duplicate the rubric and edit the new version.

What will the student see?

Once the rubric score/assignment grade is saved, the student can see her evaluation on the assignment, discussion, or submission page.

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  • 1
    Christopher Engelsma

    Is this live now?   I don't see any of this when I edit my assignments.  ?

    I had no trouble creating a rubric.  I just don't see anywhere to link it to an assignment.

    Edited by Christopher Engelsma
  • 0
    Brendan O'Donnell

    Christopher — yup, it's live! Make sure you've published the rubric. If that doesn't work, open a support request with the particulars so we can take a look.

  • 0
    Christopher Engelsma

    Ah yes...that might be the issue.

  • 0
    Christopher Engelsma

    Yep...that was it.  thanks,

  • 7
    Marc Holloman

    Is there a way to take points off outside the rubric? For instance, what if the assignment is late which results in some points being deducted and this point deduction is not built into the grading rubric. I notice that once I use the rubric to score a student's work, save the grade in the rubric, go back to the student's assignment page, adjust the score for being turned in late, write a comment in the box about that, and save again. At that point, the rubric is no longer viewable to the student. Only the comment and grade changed outside the rubric.

  • 0
    Teacher's Assistant 13

    I have the same question as Marc above... It would be very helpful if there were a way to deduct points in the rubric for a late submission or other deductions per school policies. Any chance of this?

  • 0
    Brendan O'Donnell

    Marc and TA13, my inclination would be to add a criterion for timeliness in the rubric and make it an appropriate percentage of the assignment grade. For example, a Writing rubric might looks like:

    • English & Grammar: 40%
    • Argument: 45%
    • Citations: 10%
    • Timeliness: 5%

    The criterion would have two levels, one worth 0%, the other worth 100%. That way if the student turns it in on time, he gets 100%; if not, he gets 0%.

    The only hang-up would be if your policy is to deduct a whole number of points for late work (as opposed to a percentage).

  • 0
    Marc Holloman

    Brendan, our policy is to deduct a whole number of points for late assignments, so a workaround centered on points is needed for this issue.

  • 1
    Rochelle Holmberg

    Is there a way to make the rubric dialog box moveable when using it to grade student work? Currently, when I open the rubric scoring dialog to enter grades, it blocks my view of any work that the student has uploaded for the assignment, and I'm unable to review their work and enter grades along the way. I'd like to be able to slide the rubric dialog to the side so uploaded work is visible along with the rubric. Is there a workaround to this issue? Thanks!

  • 0
    Thomas Winger

    I second the concern about being able to deduct points for tardiness. Our policy is to deduct a fixed 10% from the mark if an assignment is submitted late (which lowers the result by one grade). But I wouldn't want to include a "timeliness" criterion in every rubric, as that would skew the weighting of the rest of the criteria. I would favour having an optional "deduction" box at the end that the grader can use to insert a modification to the resulting mark after using the rubric, e.g.:

    Post-rubric deduction:   ___Late___    ___10%___

    Overall I think this would introduce some needed flexibility into the rubric system, not only allowing for global policies like tardiness, but also giving the instructor a bit more discretion.

  • 0
    Thomas Winger

    The tutorial isn't clear about how to elevate a course rubric to become a global rubric, available to other instructors. Does an admin person need to duplicate it? Or is there a way to change its status and avoid duplication?

  • 0
    Rebecca Dielschneider

    Once you Save Rubric Score, do you have to Save the grade right away? If you don't, will students still be able to see the rubric score? Sometimes I like to grade all the assignments and then go back and adjust grades to even out any discrepancies. It would be nice to hide the rubric grade while it is in progress.

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