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Using Rubrics to Grade Assignments
Last modified on 05 July 2023 07:19 PM

Rubrics are advanced grading forms used for criteria-based assessment and are most commonly used within the assignment activity. Rubrics allow for ease and consistency in grading and allow for grade transparency with students.

Adding a rubric:

To create a rubric for use in assignment grading:

  1. Create an assignment, or access the settings of a pre-existing assignment that you would like to grade via a rubric.

  2. Within the assignment settings, scroll down to the section called Grade, and for the item 'Grading method' choose 'Rubric'.

  3. You will also need to specify a 'Maximum grade', which should reflect the total number of possible points that will be available through the rubric.

    The value that you choose as your 'Maximum grade' will depend on the point increments you intend to use within the rubric itself and should match the total of points available for full scores at each level of the rubric. For example, if you have three grading criteria each worth a maximum of four points, set your 'Maximum grade' to 12 (=3x4).

    NOTE: Do NOT use scales to define the total grade for your rubric-graded assignments.

  4. After you have selected the appropriate 'Maximum grade' and 'Grading method' in the assignment settings, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click 'Save and display'. This will automatically open the 'Advanced grading' set-up screen.

Click on the button 'Define new grading form from scratch', and fill in all fields as required. You may copy and paste into fields if necessary.

When defining the point values for the various 'levels', the best practice is to always make the minimum possible score for each criterion a '0'. 

If '0' is not used as the minimum grade for each criterion, ensure that 'Calculate grade having a minimum score of the minimum achievable grade for the rubric' is checked in the Rubric options below the bottom of the grading form setup. This setting is especially important if negative scores are allowed.

Grading with a rubric:

  1. When you have finished defining your rubric, click the 'Save rubric and make it ready' button at the bottom of the page.

    Now, when you go to grade student submissions, the rubric grading method will be available.

    To select a point value for each criterion, click on the pertinent cell in the table. It will turn and stay green when selected and will enter the grade in the gradebook when the grading is saved.

  2. The rubric points entered (turned green) and additional comments, if any, need to be saved at the bottom of the page by clicking Save changes or Save and show next before navigating away.


Additional notes:

  • If you wish to return to rubric editing:
    • Click on the assignment
    • Click on the assignment administration icon (the gear on the upper-right)
    • Click on 'Advanced grading'
  • If you wish to re-use a rubric in a different course see the article Using an Existing Rubric as a Template.
  • When grading using rubrics in conjunction with a marking workflow, the grades tabulated within the grading form will not apply correct rounding to the specified decimals until the workflow is set to 'Released'. 
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