Grading Rubrics



A rubric is an assessment tool listing evaluation criteria for an assignment, and provides a way to convey to students your expectations for the quality of completed assignments. Rubrics can help students organize their efforts to meet the requirements of an assignment.  You can use them to explain evaluations to students. Rubrics can help ensure consistent and impartial grading.

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About Rubrics

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. A description and point value for each cell in the rubric defines the evaluation and score of an assignment. You can create as many rubrics as you need.

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Watch a Tutorial

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How to Create a Rubric

New rubrics default to three rows and three columns.

  1. On the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and select Rubrics.
  2. On the Rubrics page, click Create Rubric.Create Rubric button
  3. Type a Name for the rubric. The name is the title text that identifies the rubric. For example, you could name it ‘discussion forum rubric’ or ‘case study rubric.’
  4. Optionally, provide a description of the rubric to make it easier to associate it to relevant assignments.
  5. Edit the rubric grid.
  6. Click Submit.

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How to Edit the Rubric Grid

Edit the rubric grid so it corresponds to the type of feedback and scoring appropriate for the assignment.

  1. Click Add Row to add a new criterion at the bottom of the grid.
  2. Click Add Column to add a new level of achievement to the grid.
  3. Choose a Rubric Type from the drop-down list:
    • No Points: Feedback only.
    • Points: Single point value for each Level of Achievement.
    • Point Range: Range of values for each Level of Achievement.
    • Percent: Flexible depending on each assignment’s possible points.
    • Percent Range: Range of values for each Level of Achievement. During the grading process, you select the appropriate percentage level for a particular Level of Achievement and the system calculates the points earned by multiplying the weight x achievement percentage x item points.
  4. Click Edit from a label’s contextual menu to change their names. A label identifies the rows and columns with heading names.
  5. Type a point or percentage value for each row.
  6. Type a description defining the criteria and the associated Level of Achievement.
  7. Click Submit.

Each cell has a 1,000-character limit. You can reorder rows and columns by clicking the reordering functions located above the labels.

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

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Percentage-Based Rubrics

Select from the following options when you are using percentage-based rubrics:

  • On the action bar, select the Show Criteria Weight check box to show or hide criteria weights. If additional rows are added when weights are hidden, weights for new criteria are distributed equally.
  • Use the Balance Weights function after adding a new row to keep all criteria weighted equally. If you prefer individual criteria weighting, type percentages for each criterion. You must select the Show Criteria Weight check box for the Balance Weights function 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%.

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Copy and Edit a Rubric

Copy Edit Rubric

Copying a rubric is helpful if you have similar assignments for your students that will follow the same criteria. This allows you to keep the settings, and you can rename the rubric. You can also copy a rubric when you want to edit a rubric that was already used for grading.
You can duplicate a rubric by selecting the Copy option from a rubric’s contextual menu. A copy is created automatically with the name of the rubric in parentheses followed by the number one. For example, you can copy “Rubric for Asynchronous Discussion Participation” to create “(Rubric for Asynchronous Discussion Participation)(1).”

You can edit a rubric’s name to add a new name by selecting Edit from the rubric’s contextual menu. The Edit Rubric page allows you to edit all the settings for a rubric.

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Associate a Rubric

Associated rubrics are visible in the grading and rubrics sections for:

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

You can also associate a rubric in the Grade Center by selecting Edit Column Information from the column’s contextual menu.

To associate a rubric during the editing or creation process, point to Add Rubric to access the drop-down list
Add Rubric To Graded Item
and choose one of the options:

  • Select Rubric associates a rubric that you created in the Rubrics area of Course Tools.
  • Create New Rubric opens a pop-up window to allow immediate creation of a new associated rubric.
  • Create From Existing uses a previously created rubric as a template to create a new associated rubric.

When associating a points-based rubric, the option to use the rubric’s points value as the Points Possible is available after clicking Submit on the rubric creation or selection page.

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Manage Associated Rubrics

While editing an item with an associated rubric, you can change the rubric’s options.

Editing Options for Associated rubrics

Below an associated rubric’s name, manage associated rubrics using the icons to:

  1. Remove Rubric Association severs the connection to a rubric, but does not delete the rubric itself. If you already used the rubric for grading in this assignment, removing the association also removes those evaluations and the attempts need to be regraded.
  2. View Rubric opens a preview that you cannot edit, with a link to view associated items and print the rubric.
  3. Edit Rubric opens the associated rubric to allow for immediate editing. If you already used the rubric for grading, you cannot edit it.
  4. Type to 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, designated as Used for Grading.
  5. Show Rubric to Students offers four options for rubric visibility:
    • No does not allow students to view the rubric at any time.
    • Yes (With Rubric Scores) allows students to view the rubric when you make the item available, including possible point or percentage values.
    • Yes (Without Rubric Scores) allows students to view the rubric when you make the item available, but does not include the possible point or percentage values.
    • After Grading allows students to view the rubric only after you have completed grading their submissions.

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How to Import and Export Rubrics

To facilitate sharing rubrics between Blackboard Learn courses, you are able to export and import rubrics. You should not edit the rubric outside of Blackboard Learn.

  • On the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and select Rubrics.
  • To import a rubric, click Import Rubric on the action bar and browse for the file. Click Submit to upload the file.
    Import Rubric
  • To export a rubric, select the check box next to the rubric’s name and click Export on the action bar.
    Export Rubric
    You can download and import the file into a different course or share it with other instructors for use in their Blackboard Learn courses.

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How to Grade With Rubrics

Before grading with a rubric, you need to associate it with one of the following gradable items:

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

Use the following steps to grade using rubrics. The Raw Total displays the score rounded to two decimal places.

  1. Access the gradable item in the Grade Center, on the Needs Grading page, or from the tool.
  2. Click View Rubric to review or begin grading with the associated rubric.
  3. In Grid View, click a cell to apply that point value to the grade. If a rubric with point ranges is used, select the appropriate value from the drop-down list. To change the selection, click another cell in the same row.
  4. Optionally, type Feedback to the student in the text box that appears when a cell is selected.
  5. Optionally, click List View to switch displays and select an option for each criterion to apply that point value to the grade. Optionally, select the check boxes to Show Descriptions for criteria and to Show Feedback text boxes.
  6. 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, and type overall Feedback to the student using the full features of the content editor.
  7. When grading is complete, click Exit to leave the rubric without saving your selections, or click Save to save the score and feedback and return to the attempt. Click Save and Next to use another associated rubric for evaluation.

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How to View Associated Content

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

  1. On the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and select Rubrics.
  2. Access the rubric’s contextual menu and select View Associated Content.
  3. On the View All Items page, click an item name to edit the association or click OK to return to the main Rubrics page. If you already used an item for grading, a rubric evaluation report is available in the item’s contextual menu. This report provides statistics for an item that you graded with a rubric.

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