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Rubrics in D2L

Rubrics allow you to establish set criteria for grading assignments; you can attach rubrics to dropbox folders so that the criteria are available to students before they submit their assignment. Rubrics can be used to display the number of points students were awarded for each criterion after you have graded an assignment, and they can also be used to provide customized feedback.

Rubrics contain criteria that list the attributes on which an assignment will be assessed and levels that list the standards each criterion must meet. A specific grade or score is usually assigned to each level. In D2L, you can use a rubric to calculate scores for multiple criteria to determine an overall score for an assignment.

For more information on designing rubrics, visit the Rubrics teaching guide.

Creating a New Rubric

  1. Click Edit Course in the course navigation bar.
  2. Click Rubrics under the Assessment heading.
  3. Click New Rubric. The New Rubric page will open with the Properties tab displayed.
  4. Enter a name for the rubric.
  5. Enter the number of grading levels for each criterion in the Initial # of Levels field. For example, if you wanted options for Excellent, Good, Satisfactory, and Poor, you would enter “4”. (Four is the default option.)
  6. Enter the number of criteria you will you use in the Initial # of Criteria field. Criteria can be things like “accuracy” or “organization”. (Three is the default option.)
  7. Select an option from the Scoring Method drop-down menu:
    • Points (default option): The rubric will calculate a numeric score with all criteria weighted equally
    • Custom Points: The rubric will calculate a numeric score with some criteria weighted more heavily than others
    • Text Only: The rubric will display only text feedback, not a numeric score
  8. Click Save. You will return to the Edit Rubric page.

NOTE: On the New Rubric page, you will see a drop-down menu under the “Status” heading that lists options for setting the Rubric’s status to “Draft”, “Published”, or “Archived”. It is recommended that you keep your rubric’s status set to “Draft” until you have completely finished setting it up.

Set Scoring Criteria

  1. Click the drop-down arrow next to the rubric you want to set scoring criteria for on the Rubrics page, and select Edit Levels and Criteria.
  2. Click the drop-down arrow next to Criterion 1, and select Edit Criterion.
  3. Enter a name for the criterion.
  4. Enter descriptions of the characteristics the student's assignment must have for each of the criterion's levels. These descriptions will be available to students before they submit their assignments.
  5. Enter text for feedback for each level (optional). After you score your students, they will see the feedback for their level on each criterion.
  6. Click Save.
  7. Repeat this process for the rest of the criteria in your rubric.

NOTE: You can also provide descriptions and feedback for a student's overall score by clicking the drop-down arrow next to "Overall Score" at the bottom of the Rubric, selecting Edit Levels, and then entering text into the fields for each level.

Publish your Rubric

Once you're done creating the rubric, the status of the rubric needs to be changed from "Draft" to "Published" before it can be linked to a dropbox folder.

  1. Click Edit Course in the course navigation bar.
  2. Click Rubrics under the Assessment heading. A page will open that lists all of the rubrics you have created.
  3. Click the drop-down arrow to the right of the name of the rubric you want to publish, and select Set Status.
  4. Click Published. The rubric's status will now be listed as published on the rubrics page.

Associating a Rubric with a Dropbox

  1. Go to the Dropbox area.
  2. Click the drop-down arrow to the right of the dropbox folder's name, then select Edit.
  3. Click the Add Rubric button. The Select Rubric window will open.
  4. Select the checkbox next to the rubric you want to associate with the dropbox folder.
  5. Click Add Selected. The window will close, and the rubric you selected will appear in the Rubrics section.
  6. Click Save and Close.

Associating a Rubric with a Discussion Board

  1. Go to the Discussions area.
  2. Click the drop-down arrow to the right of the topic's name, then select Edit Topic.
  3. Go to the Assessment tab.
  4. Click the Add Rubric button. The Select Rubric window will open.
  5. Select the checkbox next to the rubric you want to associate with the dropbox folder.
  6. Click Add Selected. The window will close, and the rubric you selected will appear in the Rubrics section.
  7. Click Save and Close.

Editing a Rubric

Although you cannot edit a rubric after it has been associated with a dropbox folder, you can create a copy of the rubric, edit the copy, then replace the previous version with the new one.

  1. Click Edit Course in the course navigation bar.
  2. Click Rubrics under the Assessment heading. A page will open that lists all of the rubrics you have created.
  3. Click the drop-down arrow to the right of the name of the rubric you want to copy, then select Copy. A duplicate version of the rubric will now appear in your list of rubrics.
  4. Click on the name of the copied rubric.
  5. Replace the name of the rubric with a new one.
  6. Make changes to the rubric's properties or levels and criteria if needed.
  7. Click Save.
  8. Follow the steps in the Adding a Rubric section if you want to associate the new rubric with a dropbox folder.

Grade a Dropbox Submission with a Rubric

  1. Click Dropbox in the course navigation bar.
  2. Click the name of the dropbox folder that contains the files you want to grade. A page that lists all of the files submitted by students will open.
  3. Click on the name of the file that you want to grade. A page that displays the document and the grading interface will open.
  4. Click the name of the rubric associated with the dropbox; it is listed on the right side of the page, under the Evaluation heading. The rubric will appear in a new window.
  5. Click the radio button for the level the student achieved for each criterion on your rubric. As you select scores for the criteria, the rubric will automatically update the overall score.
  6. Click the pencil icon in the Feedback column to enter qualitative feedback; be sure to click Save when you are done entering text.
  7. Select the checkbox next to Transfer Rubric Feedback to General Feedback for the Assignment to transfer the feedback that you entered in the Feedback text box to the grading interface.
  8. Click Save and Record. Students will see the score, grade, and feedback you entered in the rubric when they view the dropbox.
  9. If your dropbox is linked to a grade item, click Publish to send the score to the gradebook.

Grade a Discussion Board Post with a Rubric

Before you can grade a discussion board post with a rubric, you must have a grade item associated with the topic. For information on how to set up a grade item, visit our guide here.
  1. Click Discussions in the course navigation bar.
  2. Click the drop-down arrow to the right of the name of the discussion topic that contains the posts you want to grade. Select Assess Topic.
  3. For each student, click Topic Score underneath their name.
  4. The rubric will show at the top of the window and the student's posts will show at the bottom of the window.
  5. Click the text for each level the student achieved for each criterion on your rubric. As you select scores for the criteria, the rubric will automatically update the overall score.
  6. NOTE: Do not enter feedback using the +FEEDBACK link in the first column to enter qualitative feedback; this feedback does not transfer to the gradebook or the student. 

  7. To show feedback to your students in the grading interface, enter text in the General Feedback box near the bottom of the window. Only feedback in this box will appear in the student's grades area.
  8. Click Save and Close. Students will see the score, grade, and feedback you entered in the rubric when they view the discussion board..
  9. Click Save.
  10. To publish grades to the gradebook, click the Publish All Scores to Grades button at the top of the page, then click Yes.
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