About Rubrics

Rubrics are an assessment tool used to evaluate an activity or item based on a predefined set of criteria. They help ensure that activities and items are evaluated fairly and consistently, particularly if you have more than one marker. Rubrics can be used with discussions, dropboxes, long answer questions in quizzes and gradebooks. For samples and teaching tips on when and how to use rubrics, see the CTE website.

Rubric Types

  • Analytic Rubrics: Two-dimensional rubrics with levels of achievement as columns and assessment criteria as rows. Allows you to assess participants' achievements based on multiple criteria using a single rubric. You can assign different weights (value) to different criteria and include an overall achievement by totaling the criteria.
  • Holistic Rubrics: Single criteria rubrics (one-dimensional) used to assess participants' overall achievement on an activity or item based on predefined achievement levels.

Access the Rubrics tool

Click Resources and choose Rubrics from the list.

Create an analytic rubric

Analytic rubrics allow you to assess an activity or ePortfolio item based on more than one criterion in a single rubric. With analytic rubrics, levels of achievement are displayed in columns and your assessment criteria are displayed in rows.

Analytic rubrics may use a points, custom points or text only scoring method. Points and custom points analytic rubrics may use both text and points to assess performance; with custom points, each criterion may be worth a different amount of points. For both points and custom points an overall score is provided based on the total number of points achieved. The overall score determines whether the activity is achieved.

  • Select Rubrics from the Resources drop down menu on the course navbar.
  • Click the New Rubric button.
  • Enter a Rubric Name and optional Description.
  • Leave Rubric Status as Draft during the creation process.
  • Select Analytic in the rubric Type drop-down.
  • Select how many achievement levels you want the rubric to have in the Initial # of Levels field.
  • Select how many criteria you want to break your evaluation down by in the Initial # of Criteria field.
  • Select Text Only, Points or Custom Points for the scoring method.
  • If you would prefer that students not see a breakdown of the scores assessed from each criteria level and a final calculated grade, select Hide Scores.  
    • ​Note:This will not hide the final calculated grade from the rubric when Save and Record option is selected in a dropbox and the marks are Published.
  • Under the "Allow new associations in" section you will see two checkboxes, one for Competencies and one for ePortfolio. De-select these if you do not want users in your course to be able to associate the Rubric with Competencies or ePortfolio.

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Create a Holistic Rubric

Holistic rubrics allow you to assess participants' overall achievement on an activity or item based upon a single criterion, using predefined achievement levels.

Holistic rubrics may use a percentages or text only scoring method. Percentage holistic rubrics have a percentage range associated with each achievement level, which allows users' quiz and grade item activities to automatically be assigned an achievement level based on their quiz score or grade. Other activities and ePortfolio items may also be evaluated with percentage holistic rubrics, you just have to manually enter users' achievement levels.

  • Select Rubrics from the Resources drop down menu on the course navbar.
  • Click the New Rubric button.
  • Enter a Rubric Name and Optional Description.
  • Select Holistic in the rubric Type drop-down.
  • Select how many achievement levels you want the rubric to have in the Initial # of Levels field.
  • Select either Percentages or Text Only for the scoring method.
  • Under the "Allow new associations in" section you will see two checkboxes, one for Competencies and one for ePortfolio. De-select these if you do not want users in your course to be able to associate the Rubric with Competencies or ePortfolio.

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Define analytic rubric achievement levels and criteria

  • Click the Levels and Criteria tab on the New Rubric or Edit Rubric page.
  • Click the drop down menu button beside the Criteria heading in the first row and select Edit Criteria Group.

rubric screenshot

  • Enter a Criterion Name for each criterion.
  • You can also rename the Levels here.
  • Click Save.
  • Click the drop down menu button beside the first Level Heading
  • Select Edit Level.
  • If you are creating an analytic rubric that uses a points scoring method, enter a Score (points) for the level. For custom points, you may enter a different score (points) for each criterion.
  • Enter a Description of what is required to achieve the level for each criterion. Achievement level descriptions help evaluators determine which level best reflects a user's achievement. The more detailed your descriptions are, the more consistent evaluations will be.
  • Enter any standard Feedback that you want to be communicated to users who achieve the level for each criterion. Standard feedback is an easy way to communicate a rubric's evaluation methodology to the people being evaluated and to help prepare them for future rubric evaluations.
  • Click Save and repeat for other levels.

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Define holistic rubric achievement levels

  • Click the Levels tab on the New Rubric or Edit Rubric page (or if you have saved the rubric, click the drop down menu button beside the rubric name and select Edit Levels).
  • Click the drop down menu button across from the first level you wish to edit and select Edit Level. When editing the description for each level, we recommend that you start with the lowest achievement level and work your way up.

Note: You may edit all levels at once by clicking on Edit Levels just below the Levels tab.

Rubric screenshot

  • Enter a Level Name if you want a different name than the default.
  • If you are creating a holistic rubric that uses a percentages scoring method, enter a Start Range. The start range for your lowest achievement level is automatically set to 0%. The start range for other levels should be the lowest percentage acceptable for the level. The highest percentage is determined by the start range for the level above.
  • Enter a Description for the level. Achievement level descriptions help evaluators determine which level best reflects a user's achievement. The more detailed your descriptions are, the more consistent evaluations will be.
  • Enter any standard Feedback that you want to be communicated to users who achieve the level. Standard feedback is an easy way to communicate a rubric's evaluation methodology to the people being evaluated and to help prepare them for future rubric evaluations.
  • Click Save.
  • Repeat for other levels.You may add additional levels by clicking on the Add Level option. You can also reverse the order that the levels appear in by selecting Reverse Level Order.

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Change a rubric's status

By default, the Status for new rubrics is set to Draft.

When you are finished creating your rubric you should change the Status to Published to indicate that it is complete. You cannot associate a rubric with a  dropbox, discussion topic, gradebook item, quiz,  competencies activity or ePortfolio item unless its status is set to Published.

Note: Students can view the rubrics while in draft form, but will see that they are "draft" rubrics when viewing rubrics associated with the course.

To change a Rubric’s status:

  • Select Rubrics from the Resources drop down menu.
  • Select Edit Properties from the desired rubric's drop down menu.
  • Change Status to Published.
  • Click Save.

Note: Existing associations with archived rubrics are maintained.

Managing Rubrics

If you want to modify an existing rubric and it is being currently used (not just associated) in the course, you will need to create a copy and associate that modified rubric with another tool etc. If you want to restrict using a rubric in new activities or ePortfolio items, change its status to archived.

Copy a rubric

Copying a rubric creates a new rubric based on an existing rubric in the same course. The new rubric has the same properties, levels and criteria. 

Note: Rubrics can be copied from course to course (see Copy Content)

  • From the Resources drop down list, select Rubrics.
  • Using the drop down menu associated with the rubric to be copied, select Copy.

Edit a rubric's properties

  • From the Resources drop down list, select Rubrics.
  • Using the drop down menu associated with the rubric to be edited, select Edit Properties.

Edit a level, criterion or criteria group

  • From the Resources drop down list, select Rubrics.
  • Using the drop down menu associated with the rubric to be edited, select Edit Levels and Criteria.

Reorder levels or criteria

  • From the Resources drop down list, select Rubrics.
  • Using the drop down menu associated with the rubric to be edited, select Edit Levels and Criteria.
  • Select Reorder Criteria or Reverse Level Order.

Delete a rubric

  • From the Resources drop down list, select Rubrics.
  • Using the drop down menu associated with the rubric to be deleted, select Delete. You will be prompted to confirm the deletion.  

Note:  You can not delete a rubric that has an association within the course (e.g., rubric being used in a dropbox).

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Viewing Rubric Statistics

Rubric statistics are recorded for each rubric association.

Rubric statistics for activities show the number of assessments completed, average level achieved, the percentage of users who chose each level (by criterion for analytic rubrics), and individual statistics for each user who was evaluated.

Rubric statistics for ePortfolio items show the number of completed assessments for the item.

View rubric statistics for a rubric association

  • From the Resources drop down list, select Rubrics.
  • Using the drop down menu associated with the rubric to be edited, select View Statistics.

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