Work with Rubrics

Here we look at the full process of creating a rubric in your Blackboard course site, applying it to an assessment, and using the rubric for both scoring and student feedback.

Create a Rubric

There are two ways to initiate creation of a rubric, though they have the same following steps.

Create a new rubric without an associated gradable item.

In the left-hand black course menu bar, expand Control Panel then Course Tools. Choose Rubrics.

Course tools menu drop down with highlighted rubrics

Click the Create Rubric Button

Create rubric button

Create a new rubric from within an associated gradable item.

While you create an assignment, subjective test questions, discussion forums, wikis, blogs and journals, and grade center columns you can create a rubric.

Under the Grading heading, there is a gray box which says Add Rubric. Hover over that box and choose Create New Rubric.
drop down menu for choosing a rubric to select or add new

The rest of the steps are the same for each method

Name your rubric in a descriptive way so you will be able to find it again in the future. You may also include a description for further identification.

There are default titles for the default three rows (criteria) and three columns (levels of achievement). These are all customizable (see article Edit Rubric Level Headings).


All buttons and features of rubric grid

Add rows (Criteria) or columns (Levels of Achievement) as needed.

Add Row or Column buttons

Turn on or off Criteria Weights.

Criteria Weights button

Enter your criterion descriptions. It is useful to include details here in order to support student understanding and success as well as grading consistency.

Text box space for criterion descriptions

Enter your points or percentages (see article on these Rubric Types).

text box for points or percentages
 

Be sure to click Submit to save your work.

Associate a Rubric with a Gradable Item

Once you have created a rubric, you can associate it with as many gradable items as you wish. You can do this the first time you create the gradable item or you can add it later by editing the item.

Note: this article is for connecting a Rubric to an assignment, discussion forum, wiki, blog, or journal. See other articles for information on Rubrics and Test Questions or Rubrics and Grade Columns.

Within the assignment (creating it or editing it), under the Grading heading, there is a gray box which says Add Rubric. Hover over that box and choose Select Rubric.

drop down menu for rubric selection or creation
This will open a pop-out window showing all of your rubrics saved within the course.

You can preview the contents of each rubric before you select one.

Once you’ve chosen, check the box next to the rubric title. 

pop-out window with pre-created rubric selection and preview

Click Submit.

That rubric is now connected to your assignment, discussion forum, wiki, blog, or journal. 

Note: When a rubric is connected to a gradable item it is by default hidden from student visibility. We strongly suggest making your rubrics always visible to your students.

Additional options (see other articles about these items):
    •    Detach the rubric from this item (it will not delete it from the course as a whole).
    •    Preview the rubric again.
    •    Edit the rubric.
    •    Change the student visibility of the rubric. We suggest keeping the rubric visible to students at all times.

Rubric additional options
 

Be sure to click Submit to save your work.

Change Rubric Visibility

When a rubric is connected to a gradable item it is by default hidden from student visibility. From within an assignment, subjective test questions, discussion forums, wikis, blogs and journals, and grade center columns you can change the visibility of the rubric which is associated with that content.

Note: We strongly suggest making your rubrics always visible to your students.

From inside the Edit Assignment (or Edit Question, etc) and under the Grading heading, you should see any attached rubrics highlighted in yellow.

Assignment window Test Question window
Dropdown menu to edit assignment Dropdown menu to edit test question


There is a button to the far right of the yellow highlighted rubric. 

View of associated rubrics within edit assignment or edit test question

Hover over it. You will see three options:
    1.    Yes (with rubric scores)
    2.    Yes (without rubric scores)
    3.    After Grading

drop down menu to change student visibility

Make your choice and click it. 
 

Be sure to click Submit to save your work.
 

Edit Rubric

Just as there are two ways to initiate creation of a rubric, there are two ways to edit rubrics.

Note: changes you make to a rubric will be reflected everywhere that rubric is used. You CANNOT, however, change a rubric which has already been used to grade a submission.

Edit a rubric without an associated gradable item

In the left-hand black course menu bar, expand Control Panel then Course Tools. Choose Rubrics.

Course tools drop down menu

Find the rubric you want to edit. Next to the rubric, click the gray arrow and Edit. 

edit rubric drop down menu

Make your changes. Be sure to click Submit to save your work.


Edit a new rubric from within an associated gradable item.

From within an assignment, subjective test questions, discussion forums, wikis, blogs and journals, and grade center columns you can edit the rubric which is associated with that content.

From inside the Edit Assignment (or Edit Question, etc) and under the Grading heading, you should see any attached rubrics. 
There is an edit button just to the left of the name of the rubric. Click it.

Edit rubric button from within an assignment

This will open a pop-out window where you can edit your rubric. 

Make your changes. Be sure to click Submit to save your work.

Grade Assignment with a Rubric

From within the Grade Assignment window, expand the blue bar below the purple ATTEMPT area.

Open the associated rubric one of two ways. Click the blue link with the name of the rubric or click the small gray and white window-in-window button. Each way offers the same options. 

Blue link method: will reveal the rubric rows and columns in the same window.

how to find the rubric in two different ways

The small gray and white button method: will open the rubric in a new pop-out window.

open rubric in a new window button

View of rubric in new window with save button

Be sure to save your changes in this window. Once you do, it will return you to the blue rubric.

The remaining steps are the same for each method

Based on your parameters and what you feel the student has achieved, choose the achievement level for each criterion by clicking the radial button to the left of each option or manually entering the percentage. (You MUST choose an achievement level for each criterion, even if it is zero, in order for the rubric to save.)

Scores will calculate automatically.

Once you have scored all criteria, you will have the option to adjust the student’s score. If you want to use the raw (system-calculated) total, you can leave this box blank.

Change total text box

Be sure to click the Save Rubric button AND THEN the Submit button before leaving that student’s submission.

Save rubric button

Submit score button

Here we look at the full process of creating a rubric in your Blackboard course site, applying it to an assessment, and using the rubric for both scoring and student feedback.

Create a Rubric

There are two ways to initiate creation of a rubric, though they have the same following steps.

Create a new rubric without an associated gradable item.

From the Gradebook screen, access the settings by clicking the gear icon in the upper right.

Scroll all the way down and click the gray button to Create New Rubric.

Gradebook settings popout window with create New Rubric button.

Create a new rubric from within an associated gradable item.

While you create an assignment, test with no questions, or discussion, you can create a rubric. Access the settings (Assignment, Test, or Discussion) by clicking the gear icon in the upper right.

Assignment Settings Gear Icon

Scroll almost all the way down to Additional Tools. Click Add grading rubric.

Additional Tools and Add Grading Rubric link/button

Here you will be given the option to Create New Rubric (gray button) or Add a previously created rubric (see our other article on Associating Rubrics).

Add Grading Rubric window with buttons to create new, view, or add

The rest of the steps are the same for each method

  • Name your rubric in a descriptive way so you will be able to find it again in the future. 
  • Choose your rubric type from the drop down menu at the top (see the other article on Rubric Types).
  • There are default titles for the default four rows (criteria) and four columns (levels of achievement). These are all customizable by clicking the pencil icon next to the title (see below).

Animated image showing actions to change rubric type and titles

  • Add rows or columns as needed by hovering over the lines between rows or columns.

Animate image showing action to add row or column

  • Enter your criterion descriptions. It is useful to include details here in order to support student understanding and success as well as grading consistency.

Animated image to show action adding points and descriptions

  • Enter your points or percentages (see article on these Rubric Types).

Be sure to click Save to save your work on the Rubric and then Save again to save your (assignment, test, or discussion) settings.

Save rubric button

 

Save settings button

Associate a Rubric with a Gradable Item

Once you have created a rubric, you can associate it with as many gradable items as you wish. You can do this the first time you create the gradable item or you can add it later by editing the gradable item.

Note: in Blackboard Ultra, unlike Classic, you can only associate a rubric with an assignment, a test with no questions, or a discussion. The process for each gradable item is the same.

In the pop-out Settings window (Assignment Settings, Test Settings, or Discussion Settings)...

Assignment settings gear icon

...scroll almost all the way down to Additional Tools. Click Add grading rubric.

Add grading rubric button under additional tools


This will open an additional pop-out window showing all of your rubrics saved within the course.

Add grading rubric window

You can preview the contents of each rubric before you select one by clicking the blue View link.
Once you’ve chosen, click the blue Add link. 

View and add links/buttons for Grade with Rubric

Click Save on the Settings page.

Save button on settings page

That rubric is now connected to your assignment, a test with no questions, or a discussion.

Additional options (see other articles about these items):
    •    Detach the rubric from this item (it will not delete it from the course as a whole).
    •    Edit or duplicate the rubric.

Edit Rubric

Just as there are two ways to initiate creation of a rubric, there are two ways to edit rubrics.

Note: changes you make to a rubric will be reflected everywhere that rubric is associated. You CANNOT, however, change a rubric which has already been used to grade a submission.

Edit a rubric without an associated gradable item.

From the Gradebook screen, access the settings by clicking the gear icon in the upper right.

Animated image of gradebook settings

Scroll all the way down. Below the heading Course Rubrics will be a button to Create New Rubric and then a list of the existing rubrics.

Create new rubric button or access existing rubrics buttons
From here you can do all of the following with your rubrics:

  • Open and Edit by clicking on the title of the rubric
  • Duplicate by clicking the three gray dots on the right.
  • Delete by clicking the three gray dots on the right. (Cannot delete rubric if it is attached to an active gradable item like an assignment.) 

Drop down menu for options to duplicate or delete rubric

Be sure to Save your work before exiting the screen.

 

Edit a new rubric from within an associated gradable item.

From within an assignment, test with no questions, or discussion, you can edit a rubric.

Access the (assignment, test, discussion) settings by clicking the gear icon in the upper right.

Assignment settings button

Scroll almost all the way down to Additional Tools. Find the rubric you wish to edit. Click the title of the rubric (a blue link).

Button/link to access rubric to edit

This will open a pop-out window where you can edit your rubric. 

Be sure to click Save to save your work on the Rubric and then Save again to save your assignment settings.

Grade Assignment with a Rubric

Unlike the Classic version of Blackboard, grading with a rubric in Ultra is the same for assignments, tests with no questions, and discussions.

 

From an individual student’s Submissions page, where you would grade assignments normally, you should see an added Rubric tab on the right, below the score “pill” and above Feedback.

Full screen shot of rubric tab

Clicking anywhere on that Rubric tab will show the rubric associated with this assignment.

What will open is an abbreviated and vertical version of your rubric. It may or may not be collapsed; if it is, you can simply click on the criterion title to expand it. Once it has expanded, you should see the achievement levels for each criterion. Click to select the level the student has earned with their work.

Animated image of rubric scoring action

You can collapse or expand each criterion and then move on to the next.

Arrow button to collapse or expand criteria and achievements

You can also add feedback for each criterion...

Feedback for individual criterion

...or for the submission as a whole. 

Feedback Save button

If you include general feedback, be sure to save your changes before leaving this student’s submission.