Creating & Associating Rubrics

A rubric is essentially the evaluation criteria for an assessment. Rubrics provide a way to convey to students what is expected of them to achieve a particular grade and can therefore help them to organise their efforts to better meet the requirements of an assignment.

In Blackboard, rubrics can be created and associated with assignments so that you can use them for marking purposes. This helps to ensure more consistent and impartial marking as well as providing explanations to the students about their grade. This user guide looks at how to create a rubric and associate it with an assignment.

Structure of a Rubric

Rubrics are made up of rows and columns. The rows correspond to the various criteria of an assignment. The columns correspond to the level of achievement expressed for each criterion. Each cell in the rubric can have a description and point value to define the evaluation and score of an assignment. New rubrics default to three rows and three columns, but you can add/remove rows and columns as needed.

Creating a Rubric
  1. Enter the module in which you want to create your rubric and ensure Edit Mode is switched ON.
  2. OSelecting a rubric typen the Control Panel, expand the Evaluation section and click on Rubrics.
  3. Click the Create Rubric button.
  4. Enter a Name for the Rubric and optionally enter a description.
  5. Edit the rubric grid so that it corresponds to the criteria for the assessment. You can add extra rows (criterion) using the Add Row button and extra columns (levels of achievement) using the Add Column button.
  6. Choose a Rubric Type from the drop-down list.

There are several different “types” of rubric to choose from:

  • No Points: Feedback only.
  • Points: Each level of Achievement (column) has a single point value.
  • Point Range: You can define a range of values for each Level of Achievement (column).
  • Percent: Flexible depending on each assignment’s possible points.
  • Percent Range: Range of values for each Level of Achievement (column).
  1. To edit the names of the rows and columns, click the arrowed button next to a label and choose Edit. Enter a new label and click Save.Entering a label for a row or column
  2. Enter a point or percentage value for each row in the boxes provided.
  3. Enter a description defining the criteria and the associated level of achievement in the cells provided. Bear in mind that each cell has a 1000 character limit.
  4. You can re-order the rows and columns by clicking the Criteria or Levels of Achievement.
  5. A typical completed rubric could look like this:A sample completed rubric
  6. Click Submit to save your completed rubric.
Note: After you use a rubric for marking purposes, you cannot edit it. You can, however, copy the rubric to create a duplicate which is then editable.
Associating a Rubric with an Assignment

Once you have created your rubric, you can associate it with an assignment. This can be done either when creating a new assignment or by editing an existing assignment (although you probably don’t want to add a rubric to an assignment which already has submissions).

When creating an assignment, the Grading section has a button labelled Add Rubric. Click this button and choose one of the following options:

  • Associating an existing rubric with an assignmentSelect Rubric: This will allow you to select a rubric you have already created (as described earlier in this guide). A new window will appear listing any existing rubrics; check the box next to the rubric you want to associate with the assignment and click Submit.
  • Create New Rubric: This will allow you to create a new rubric and associate it straight away with the assignment. The creation process is exactly as described earlier in this user guide.
  • Create From Existing: This lets you create a new rubric from an existing one – simply choose the one you want to use and an editable copy will be created.

Tip: You can associate a single rubric with multiple assignments. A report listing all items associated to the rubric is available from the rubrics tool.

If your rubric is a Points based rubric, then you will be prompted to assign the rubric’s maximum points as the Points Possible value for the assignment after selecting it. Click OK in the pop-up message to set this value.

The selected rubric will appear in the table. You can now define a number of settings which determine what the rubric is used for and when it is shown to students.

Setting how the rubric is used with associated with an assignment

In the Type column, the default option will be Used for Grading. You can opt to use the rubric for Secondary Evaluation by clicking the button and changing the option.

The Show Rubric to Students column lets you specify whether or not the rubric is visible to students. In some cases, you might want to provide students with the rubric before submitting the assignments so that they are aware of the assessment criteria and what is required to achieve a particular grade. Alternatively, you might want to hide the rubric from students completely and/or only display it to them after you have marked the assignment so that they can see how they achieved a given grade.

You can also associate rubrics with other gradable items such as blogs, journals, discussion board forums and threads. The process is the same as described above.

Read our Marking with Rubrics user guide for information on how to mark assignments with rubrics via the Grade Centre.