Docent - Teacher

How do I create a rubric?

Updated on

Create a rubric

You use a rubric to assess student performance in a reliable, transparent and consistent way. When creating a rubric you define criteria groups, criteria and levels. You use a criteria groups to bundle criteria that belong together.
For example, if you create a rubric to assess essays you can create criteria groups for Content, Resources and Language criteria. Within the criteria group Language can then create the criteria Spelling and Grammar, Sentence Structure and Academic Language. Finally, you define the levels which students can score for each criterion, for example Level 1: Insufficient, Level 2: Sufficient and Level 3: Good.

  • Navigate to Administration in the navbar of your course.
  • Click on Course Admin.
  • Click Rubrics.

If you want to learn more about the how, what and why of rubrics, read the article How do I use rubrics?

You will navigate to the rubrics homepage, where you will find an overview of all rubrics you have created.

  • Click New Rubric.
  1. Name the rubric.
  2. In the top bar you choose: 
    • whether it is an holistic or analytical rubric using Type;
    • the manner in which points are awarded using Scoring:
      • No Score: no points.
      • Points: a combination of text and points (for example: Good and 75 points). Note that this option is only available for analytical rubrics.
      • Custom Points: each criterion is awarded with its own amount of points. For example: the performance levels are defined as average, sufficient and good. Each level of the criterion 'Spelling and grammar' could be worth ten, twenty or thirty points, and the levels of the criterion 'Originality' could be worth ten points, sixty points or ninety points, making this criterion three times as valuable as the criterion 'Spelling and grammar'. Note that this option too is only available for analytical rubrics.
      • Percentage: each level is awarded a percentage. For example: Level 4 is 75%. Note that this option is only available for a holistic rubric.
    • whether the levels go up in points or go down with Reverse Level Order.
  3. Give the criterion group and levels in the top row a name (in the example above the criterion group is called Content and it has three levels).
    • Use the plus icons left and right of the levels to add levels.
    • You can alter the amount of points for each individual level.
    • Click on the waste bin icon to delete a level.
      For each criterion you can add a description and possibly a specific feedback for that criterion. In the example, you will see that the criterion group Content consists of the criteria Hypothesis, Relevance for existing literature, Buildup and Conclusion. For each of these criteria a student can achieve Level 1, 2, or 3, with the points to match.
  4. Under Initial Feedback you can add possible criterion-specific feedback. Note that this feedback will not be displayed in the general feedback.
  5. On the right you will see the amount of points a student can receive for each criterion.
  6. Click on the waste bin icon on the right to delete a criterion.
  7. On the left of each criterion you will see a six point icon. Use this icon to drag a criterion to another position within the criterion group. To do this, click on the icon and continue to press the button of your computer mouse. Then move your cursor to the spot you want to put the criterion and release the mouse button.
  8. Use the arrows to move the criterion group up or down.
  9. Click on the three dots icon next to a row to undertake actions for the entire row.
    • Click Copy Row to copy the row. The copy will be have 'Copy of...' as name.
    • Click Delete Row to delete the row.

The names of criterion groups and levels can consist of a maximum of 256 characters.

  1. At the bottom of a criterion group you can add criteria to the group. Click Add Criterion to do this. Then you can add a name and description to the new criterion. You can add as many criteria as you need.
  2. Click Add Criteria Group to create a new criterion group. If your rubric consists of many criteria, you can use this option to arrange and place them in different categories in an orderly fashion. (In the previous example we already saw that this rubric has a criterion group called Content, which consists of  the criteria Hypothesis, Relevance for existing literature, Buildup and Conclusion. There is also the criterion group Sources, which consists of the criteria Type and amount, Citing, paraphrasing and references en Literature list. The criterion groups Content and Sources ensure that the large number of criteria have been arranged logically).
  3. At the bottom of the rubric you will see the maximum number of points one can acquire for a rubric.
  4. To copy or delete a criteria group at once, click the three dots icon next to the criteria group. Then choose Copy Criteria Group or Delete Criteria Group

To assess an assignment, discussion topic, quiz, survey of ePortfolio using a rubric, the maximum amount of points a student can acquire has to be the same in both the rubric and the assignment or topic (Out of score). To calculate the rubric's maximum score, you have to add up the highest score (belonging to the highest level) of each criterion. Read more about assessment with a rubric in the article How do I assess an assignment? (grade item, rubric)?

The Overall Score is located separately below each of the criterion groups. Here you can specify the performance levels based on the score the student can achieve in total.

  1. For each level, enter how many points a student much achieve to accomplish that level. Note that the number of levels does not depend on the number of levels in the rubric - it can consist of more or fewer levels. The performance level will show to the students how many steps they can improve, but does not determine the grade for the assignment. The Overall Score is separate from the Total Score, with the Total score determining the assessment. It only indicates to the student on which level they performed.
  2. The plus icons allow you to add levels. You can remove levels using the waste basket icon.
  3. You can enter feedback for each level (in the example, students can read what they have to do to reach a certain level, and what can be done to reach a higher level the next time).
  4. Click Options to open more settings.
  1. Select whether students are able to see the rubric:
    • Rubric is visible to students: students can always see the rubric as soon as they can see the activity the rubric is linked to.
    • Rubric is hidden from students: students cannot see the rubric.
      • Include rubric feedback in overall feedback: if you select this option students will not only get to see their grade, but also their scores for different criteria. However, they will not get to see the rubric itself. For example: Question - the question is formulated clearly, but a little too broad.
    • Rubric is hidden from students until feedback is published: students can only see the rubric if you have published the feedback for the activity the rubric is linked to.
  2. Select Hide Scores from students if you do not want to show the scores to students.
  3. You can add a short description to the rubric. Note that this description is not visible for students (in the example the description describes when you use this rubric).
  4. Select whether you want to connect the rubric to Competencies and/or the ePortfolio. If you select these options, you can assess items within these components with the rubric as well.
  5. Click Close to close the rubric and return to the rubrics homepage. Note that the rubric is automatically saved, so you do not have to save it manually.

Keep in mind that the changes will be saved automatically. Even when you are creating a rubric or when you click something without meaning to, it will be saved. That is why it is important to check the Edit Rubric page for any errors before you leave, especially when the rubric is visible for students.

When you scroll back to the top, you can see whether the rubric is saved, what the status is and what it will look like for students while creating it.

  1. Click on the arrow next to Edit Rubric and then click Preview to see what the rubric looks like in that moment. The preview will open a new window.
  2. On the right you will see Saved: this means the progress is saved.
  3. A new rubric will automatically be set to Published. This means it is available to connect to for example an Assignment or Discussion. Click on the arrow to change the status:
    • Draft: you cannot connect the rubric to an activity yet (and thus not use it to assess an activity).
    • Published: you can connect the rubric. Note that you can no longer alter the name, description, levels and criteria of the rubric once it has been connected!
    • Archived: the rubric does not appear in the standard search results and is not available for a connection. After filing the existing connections will remain intact.

Edit a rubric

You can always edit existing rubrics from the rubrics homepage. However, you can only edit those rubrics that have not been linked to an Activity. When you have a linked rubric you can still change the visibility of the rubric.

  • Click the name of the rubric. You will navigate to the Edit Rubric page. Here you will find the same options you have when creating a new rubric. 
  • Click the arrow next to the name of the rubric to open a pop-up menu.
  • You can print the empty rubric by clicking Preview in the quick menu and then clicking Print Rubric.
Previous Article How do I use rubrics?
Next Article How do I make a rubric visible for students?