How to: Create a rubric in Canvas

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What are rubrics?

A Canvas rubric is a matrix of assessment criteria that attempt to communicate expectations of quality for an assessment task or activity.  A well designed assessment rubric is a key element in providing good assignment feedback. It enables students to understand what is required, what the priorities are, and what will get a good response from you, the assessor. It enables you to make the requirements explicit, to discuss the assessment with fellow assessors, and to save time when assessing and providing feedback.

Why would I use one?

  • provide marking consistency
  • ensure common understanding amongst teachers about the assessment of learning outcomes
  • ensure feedback is meaningful to students
  • ensure feedback contributes to student development

For more information about writing effective rubrics, check out the further help resources below.

How do I build one in Canvas?
Note: These instructions are for building a rubric for use with the Canvas Speedgrader tool. It is not a Turnitin rubric. Please see further help below for tips if you wish to use a Canvas rubric with a Turnitin Assignment.

  1. Click Assignments on the course menu.
  2. If you don’t have an existing assignment, create one following these instructions
  3. To add a rubric to an existing assignment, open the assignment, and click + Rubric.
    + Rubric
  4. In the title box enter the name for the Rubric, e.g. Assessment 1 rubric
  5. To add your first criterion, click the edit pencil icon in the criteria box.
  6. Add your criterion title and a longer description if you wish, and click Update Criterion
  7. Next, add the desired number of ratings by clicking the + icon in the full marks ratings box
  8. For each new rating give it a score, a title and a longer description if you wish. If you want to use a scoring range, we’ll get to that shortly, for now just add the highest score in the range, expressed as a decimal number. ie. the highest score for a pass in a range from 1 to 10 might be 5.9 (with 6 being the beginning of a Credit)
  9. For existing ratings, click the edit pencil icon to change the title, add a longer description and adjust the score.
  10. Adjust the total points for that criterion if need be.
  11. Check that you’re happy with all the detail that you’ve just created.
  12. If you wish to use a grading range, now click the Range checkbox in the Criteria description box. Canvas will calculate your ranges based on the numbers you entered earlier. Check that they’re correct and click the edit pencil icon to adjust them if necessary.
  13. You just created your first criterion. To create further criteria you can create a new criterion, or simply duplicate the first one, and make adjustments as necessary to points and number of ratings. To create a new criterion click + Criterion and select New Criterion. To duplicate a criterion, click + Criterion and under Duplicate, select the criterion you want to copy.
  14.  Add or adjust the descriptions, number of ratings and points as necessary for your new criterion as per steps 6 to 12 above. Repeat for all remaining criteria.
    NOTE: If you have duplicated a criterion with a range, it’s best to unselect the range before trying to add or remove ratings or adjust points. Reselect range if you want to use it once you’ve got the scoring set up as you want it.
  15. Once you have all your criteria set up and you’re happy with it, select the Use this rubric for assignment grading checkbox, and click Create Rubric.

Note: The following video outlines an alternative method of creating a rubric in Canvas.

For information about writing quality rubrics:

DLDSC Resource: Assessment Roadmap
DLDSC Resource: Example rubric templates (RMIT login to Canvas)

For further information about Canvas rubrics:

Canvas Doc: How do I create a rubric in a course?
Canvas Doc: How do I edit a rubric in a course?
Canvas Doc: How do I add a rubric to an assignment?


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