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.


Creating a Rubric

  1. Go to Control Panel > Course Tools > Rubrics
  2. Click Create Rubric button.
  3. Provide your rubric information.
  4. In the Rubric Detail area, add rows and columns and further customize the rubric.

Rubrics screenshot

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

How to Edit the Rubric Grid

Rubric Detail screenshot

  1. Select Add Row to add a new criterion to the bottom of the grid.
  2. Select Add Column to add a new level of achievement to the grid.
  3. 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.
  4. To change a row or column’s title, access a heading’s menu and select Edit. Type the new title and select Save.
  5. Type a point or percentage value for each row and column.
  6. Type a description for the criteria and the associated level of achievement. Each cell has a 1,000-character limit.
  7. 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.

Associate a Rubric

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.

Add Rubric button

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.

Associated rubric settings

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.

The screenshot below is an example of an assignment with an associated rubric:

Sample assignment with associated rubrics for grading

Grade with a Rubric


  1. On the Grade Assignment page, expand the grading panel to access the rubric.Reveal grading panel
  2. Select the rubric title to expand it in the panel. Optionally, select the check boxes to Show Descriptions for criteria and to Show Feedback boxes. Or, select the View Rubric in Window icon on the right side of the rubric item to open the rubric in a separate window and grade from there.Grade by Rubric Grading option
  3. Select an achievement level. A running Raw Total score appears as you make point selections. Optionally, type a score in the Change the number of points box to override the selected score.
  4. Select Save Rubric to add the rubric score to the Attempt field.
  5. Optionally, type overall feedback for the student.
  6. Select Submit.

Grade by Rubric Screenshot example

(Source: Blackboard Help Grading – Rubrics)