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Blackboard Help

Rubrics

Your institution controls which tools are available in the Original Course View. Rubrics are always available to instructors in the Ultra Course View.

Rubrics can help ensure consistent and impartial grading and help students focus on your expectations.

A rubric is a scoring tool that you can use to evaluate graded work. When you create a rubric, you divide the assigned work into parts. You can provide clear descriptions of the characteristics of the work associated with each part, at varying levels of skill.

Students can use a rubric to organize their efforts to meet the requirements of the graded work. When you allow students access to rubrics before they complete their work, you provide transparency into your grading methods.

Watch a video about creating rubrics

This video explains how to create a rubric for assessing and grading student work.

Video: How to create a rubric for grading student work


Create a rubric

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about creating rubrics.

You can create multiple rubrics in your course. Rubrics consist of rows and columns. The rows correspond to the criteria. The columns correspond to the level of achievement that describes each criterion. New rubrics have three rows and three columns.

After you create rubrics, you can associate them with content.

Control Panel > Course Tools > Rubrics

  1. On the Rubrics page, select Create Rubric. Type a title and optional description.

  2. Select Add Row to add a new criterion to the bottom of the grid.
  3. Select Add Column to add a new level of achievement to the grid.
  4. Choose a Rubric Type from the menu:
    • No Points: Provide feedback only.
    • Points: Each level of achievement has a single point value.
    • Point Range: Each level of achievement has a range of values.
    • Percent: Each item's possible points determines the percentage.
    • Percent Range: Each level of achievement has a range of values. When you grade, you select the appropriate percentage level for a particular level of achievement. The system calculates the points earned by multiplying the weight x achievement percentage x item points.
  5. To change a row or column’s title, access a heading’s menu and select Edit. Type the new title and select Save.
  6. Type a point or percentage value for each row and column.
  7. Type a description for the criteria and the associated level of achievement. Each cell has a 1,000-character limit.
  8. Select Submit.

You can reorder rows and columns. Select the Criteria or Levels of Achievement heading, which opens a reorder panel.

After you use a rubric for grading, you can't edit it. You can copy the rubric to create a duplicate rubric that you can edit.

More on grading with rubrics

Percentage-based rubrics

When you choose a percent-based rubric, select from these options:

  • Show Criteria Weight check box: Show or hide criteria weights. If you add more rows when weights are hidden, weights for new criteria are distributed equally.
  • Balance Weights: Use after you add a new row to keep all criteria weighted equally. If you want individual criteria weighting, type percentages for each criterion. You must select the Show Criteria Weight check box for Balance Weights to appear.

The total weight for all criteria must equal 100%. No row may have a 0% weight. At least one level of achievement must have a value of 100%.


Associate a rubric

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about associating rubrics.

You can associate rubrics with these types of gradable content:

  • Assignments
  • Essay, Short Answer, and File Response test questions
  • Blogs and journals
  • Wikis
  • Discussion forums and threads

You can also associate a rubric with any non-calculated Grade Center column. For example, you can associate a rubric with a manually created column for class participation and use the rubric to grade participation. Access a column's menu and select Edit Column Information.

To associate a rubric, access the Add Rubric menu and choose one of these options:

  • Select Rubric from those you've created.
  • Create New Rubric opens a window so that you can create a rubric.
  • Create From Existing uses an existing rubric as a template to create a new rubric.

In the Type column, you can designate a rubric as Used for Grading or Used for Secondary Evaluation. If you associate multiple rubrics, you can use only one as the primary grading rubric.

Show Rubric to Students has four options for rubric visibility:

  • No: Students can't view the rubric.
  • Yes (With Rubric Scores): Students can view the rubric when you make the item available, including possible point or percentage values.
  • Yes (Without Rubric Scores): Students can view the rubric when you make the item available, but they can't see the possible point or percentage values.
  • After Grading: Students can view the rubric only after you've finished grading their submissions.

For a percent-based rubric, type the points possible. For a points-based rubric, you're prompted to use the rubric’s point value as the item's possible points.

Point values for test questions are handled in the main test or pool canvas. Both point and percent-based rubrics adjust their calculations to match the assigned point value for the test question. Questions that you've associated with a rubric appear with the rubric icon next to the points box.


Student view of content with a rubric

Students can select View Rubric and view the grading criteria before they submit their work. They can move the rubric window next to the content so that they can view the instructions alongside the criteria.

For an assignment

For a test question


Manage rubrics

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about managing rubrics.

Access a rubric's menu to edit, copy, or delete the rubric. You can also View Associated Content to view the items a rubric is associated with.

You can copy a rubric if you have a similar gradable item for your students that will use the same criteria. You can keep the settings and rename the rubric. You can also copy a rubric when you want to edit a rubric that's in use. A copy is created with the same title and the number 1 added: "Introductory Speech(1)."

Manage associated rubrics

When you edit an item with an associated rubric, you can change the rubric's options.

In the Associated Rubrics section, you have these management functions:

  • Remove Rubric Association removes the connection to a rubric but doesn't delete the rubric itself. If you've already used the rubric for grading this item, the evaluations are removed and the attempts need to be regraded.
  • View Rubric opens a preview that you can't edit, with a link to view associated items and print the rubric.
  • Edit Rubric opens the associated rubric so that you can edit it. If you've already used the rubric for grading, you can't edit it.

ULTRA: Create a rubric

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about creating rubrics.

You can create multiple rubrics in your course. Rubrics consist of rows and columns. The rows correspond to the criteria. The columns correspond to the level of achievement that describes each criterion.

New rubrics have four rows and four columns. You can add up to ten columns and rows, and you can delete all but one row and one column. You can associate rubrics with assignments and tests.

At this time, you can only associate rubrics with tests that have no questions. You can't create rubrics at small screen widths.

Can I edit a rubric?

If you haven't used a rubric in grading, you can select the rubric title to make changes to the title, rows, columns, and percentages. You can also add or delete rows and columns. After you use a rubric for grading, you can't edit it, but you can make a copy that you can edit and rename.

Percentage-based rubrics

At this time, all rubrics are percentage-based. The criteria total percentage must equal 100%, and you may only use whole numbers. You may add rows set to 0% as long as your total percentage equals 100.

If the percentages don't equal 100, a warning message appears at the bottom of the screen. Select Balance Criteria next to the message to auto-adjust the percentages so that they equal 100. Or, you can manually update the percentages as needed.

For the levels of achievement, one column must have a value of 100%. You may only use whole numbers.

You can create a rubric when you create an assignment or test. You can also create rubrics from the gradebook and associate them to assessments later.

Rubrics are read-only on small devices.

From an assessment

When you create or edit an assignment or test, you can create a new rubric. You can also associate an existing rubric unless you've already graded the assignment.

At this time, you can only associate rubrics with tests that have no questions.

  1. On the assignment or test page, select the Settings icon to open the Settings panel.
  2. In the Additional Tools section, select Add grading rubric > Create New Rubric.

  3. On the New Rubric page, type a title with a limit of 255 characters.

    By default, four criteria rows and four achievement level columns appear. You can add, delete, and rename the rows and columns. Point to a cell to access the edit and delete icons. Select the plus sign wherever you want to add a row or column and type a title. If you don't want the new row or column, you can delete it.

    When you add an achievement level, a percentage is automatically added. For example, if you add an achievement level between two levels listed at 100% and 75%, your new level is assigned 88%. You can adjust the percentages as needed. Click anywhere to save your changes.

    For new and existing levels of achievement, you can add an optional description. Achievement titles have a 40-character limit. Criteria and description cells have a 1,000 character limit. You can't add HTML code to titles and cells. You can paste text from another document, but the formatting doesn't carry over.

    When you press the Enter key, a new paragraph isn't started in a cell. The Enter key confirms you're finished. Your work is saved and you leave edit mode.

    You can align goals with rows in the rubric if you want to measure achievement against goals set by your institution. Select Align with goals to get started. Student's can't see the goals you align with criteria in a rubric.

From the gradebook

You can create, edit, copy, delete, and review existing rubrics from your gradebook. Rubrics are listed in alphabetical order.

  1. In your gradebook, select the Settings icon.
  2. In the Gradebook Settings panel, expand the Rubrics used in this class section. Use the steps in the preceding section to create a rubric.


ULTRA: Keyboard navigation

You can use the arrow keys to navigate the rubric cells. The top-left cell is the initial focus of the rubric table. When you press Tab, you send focus in this order:

  • First Add Column function
  • First column heading cell, and so on
  • Press Tab on the last Add Column function to send focus to the Add Criterion function at the top of the next row
  • Criteria heading cell of the next row
  • First achievement level on the row
  • Then, across the row
  • Add Criterion function on the next row, and so on

You can press Enter on any rubric cell to send focus to the Edit function for that cell. Press Enter again to start the editing action. Press Enter while in edit mode to exit edit mode and return focus to the cell that you were editing.

When you edit a column heading, only that heading is editable. Tab/Enter exits the heading and returns focus to the cell.

When you edit a criteria heading, all criteria headings are editable. Tab focus moves vertically between the inputs. Tab moves from the last input to exit criteria edit mode and puts the focus on that cell.

When you edit any achievement level description cell, all achievement level description cells are editable for that criteria. Tab moves from percentage to description to percentage for the next level. Tab on the last input exits edit mode and return focus to the last cell in the row.

Move focus between the rubric and content

You can navigate between the rubric and the content you're grading, such as an assignment.

When the focus is on the last criteria heading, press Tab to move focus to a hidden anchor function near the top of the rubric panel that reads "Focus" and points to the content portion.

The anchor function only becomes visible when focused, not hovered. Only keyboard users will be aware that the function exists.

When the focus is on the "Focus" button, press Tab to move to the top of the rubric panel to the first tabbable element, close button.

Press Enter/Space to move the focus to the first tabbable element in the content portion.

When the focus is on the next-to-last tabbable element in the content portion, press Tab to move the focus to a hidden anchor button near the top of the content portion that reads "Focus" and points to the rubric panel.

When the focus is on the "Focus" button, press Tab to move the focus to the first tabbable element in the content portion.

Press Enter/Space to move the focus to the first tabbable element in the rubric panel.


ULTRA: Associate rubrics to assessments

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about associating rubrics.

You can associate an existing rubric to an assignment or test unless you've already graded the assignment.

At this time, you can only associate rubrics with tests that have no questions.

  1. On the assignment or test page, select the Settings icon to open the Settings panel.
  2. In the Additional Tools section, select Add grading rubric to view existing rubrics. Rubrics appear in alphabetical order.
    • If you haven't used a rubric in grading, you can select the rubric title to make changes to the title, rows, columns, and percentages. You can also add or delete rows and columns.
    • Select the Add icon to associate the rubric to the assessment.

When you associate a rubric and view a student's assignment or test submission, the grade pill displays a rubric icon.

More on grading with rubrics

Remove associations

You can remove a rubric from an assessment that you've graded and the grades will remain. The grades are no longer associated with the rubric, but now appear as grades you added manually.

Return to the Settings panel and point to the associated rubric's title to access the Remove icon.


ULTRA: Student view of rubrics

Students can view a rubric before they open an assignment or test and after they start the attempt. Students select This item is graded with a rubric to view the rubric.

Students can view the rubric alongside the instructions. They can expand each rubric criterion to view the achievement levels and organize their efforts to meet the requirements of the graded work.


ULTRA: Manage rubrics

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about managing rubrics.

Based on where you access a rubric, you have different options. You can access a rubric from the Assignment Settings, Test Settings, and Gradebook Settings panels.

Edit rubrics

If you haven't used a rubric in grading, you can select the rubric title to make changes to the title, rows, columns, and percentages. You can also add or delete rows and columns.

After you use a rubric for grading, you can't edit it, but you can make a copy that you can edit and rename.

Copy rubrics

From the Gradebook Settings panel, select the Duplicate icon to create a copy of an existing rubric. The rubric opens. If you've used the rubric in grading, select Create a Copy at the bottom of the screen. The copied rubric opens with the date and "copy" added to the title. You can make edits as needed.

If you copy a rubric you haven't used in grading, the copy appears after you select the Duplicate icon.

You can't copy rubrics on small devices.

Delete rubrics

You can permanently delete a rubric from your course even if you used it in grading and the grades will remain. The grades are no longer associated with the rubric, but now appear as grades you added manually.

To permanently delete a rubric, access the Gradebook Settings panel in the gradebook.

Align goals with a rubric

Inside a new or existing rubric, select the Align with goals link that appears under a criteria row to add, edit, or remove associated goals. The Goals & Standards page appears. Students can't view the goals you align with a rubric.

More on how to align goals with course content

Export and archive courses with rubrics

In the Ultra Course View, rubrics that you have associated to assessments are saved in export and archive packages.

When you convert an Original course to Ultra, if a rubric isn't set to use percentages, then it's converted to a percentage rubric. All columns are ordered from most valuable to least valuable, as an Ultra rubric's first column is set to 100%. All Original rubric settings are now set to the Ultra rubric defaults.