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Using Blackboard Rubrics

The rubric tool is Blackboard tool that allows you to create and display grading criteria in a way that consists of rows and columns. The rows correspond to the criteria itself, while columns correspond to the level of achievement that describes each criterion. Rubrics provide students with a better understanding of how grades are achieved for assignments by creating a visual/grid representation of the grading scale/evaluation for a particular assignment. Rubrics also integrate into your grading of written assignments in Blackboard and provide instructors with simple, consistent grading criteria to evaluate work. It is important to note that in order to use the Rubric tool for grading, rubrics must be developed through the Rubrics tool or use specific file formats, and cannot be uploaded from PDF or Word docs.

Finding the Rubrics Tool

There are a number of ways to access the rubric tool either through the Rubrics tool or during the set-up of any written assessment (assignments, discussion boards, essay or short answer test questions).

To access the Rubrics tool directly:

Log into your Blackboard course.

Locate Course Tools under your Control Panel.

Next, scroll down the tool list to Rubrics.

Rubrics option under Blackboard course's Course Tools panel

To access the Rubrics tool during a written-assessment set up:

Log into your Blackboard course.

Create or Edit the assessment. Rubrics are applicable to assignments, discussion board forums, short answer and essay test questions, group discussion boards, wikis, blogs, and journals.

Under the associated points possible, use the Add Rubric dropdown option to Select Rubric, Create New Rubric, or Create From Existing Rubric.

Add Rubric options in Blackboard when creating an assessment

Choosing Select Rubric will allow you to select a rubric you have already created through the Rubrics tool. Choosing Create New Rubric will open the creation window to allow you to create a new rubric for the assignment.

Creating a Rubric

To Create a Rubric, use the Create New Rubric option during the assessment editing/creating process or go through the Rubrics tool directly.

Creating a Rubric from the Course Tools option:

Locate Course Tools under your Control Panel.

Next, scroll down the tool list to Rubrics.

At the top of the page, choose Create Rubric.

Create Rubric button in the rubrics tool in Blackboard

Provide a name and description for the rubric you are creating. Please note, rubrics can be re-used for multiple assignments and over multiple semesters.

Next, scroll down the page to the rubric details section.

In this section you will input your criteria categories, define specific criteria for each level of achievement, and indicate the points/percentage scale you are using to grade.

Example of a Rubric grid in Blackboard

Editing Aspects of the Rubric

At the top of the Rubric Details area, use the Add Rows and Add Columns options to add additional cells to your rubric grid and change the rubric type from percentage to points.

Rubric details options in Blackboard

Next, use the dropdown arrows next to each category to edit the name as needed. These could be anything from Grammar and Spelling, to APA format or Assignment Requirements, and more.

Edit the categories of a Blackboard rubric using the dropdown arrows

Use the dropdown arrows next to the level of achievement categories to indicate the grade level students can achieve for the assignments. This may be letter grades, percentages, proficiency titles...etc..

Edit the levels of achievement in a Blackboard rubric using the dropdown arrows

Once you have all the categories and levels of achievement adjusted to your rubric needs, click in the individual cell's text box to fill out the rubric with your expectations.

Click into the individual rubric cells to add expectations and information

Associating Your Rubric to an Assessment

You can associate a rubric when creating a new assessment or when editing a pre-existing assessment.

Inside the assessment's editing or creation page, choose “Add Rubric”.

Next, choose Select Rubric.

Red arrow points to the Select Rubric option in Blackboard

A new window will open with a list of all the rubrics you have created for your course. Choose the rubric you want to associate to the assignment from the list available and click Submit.

Choose the rubric you want to use from the list of available options

Once you have selected the rubric new settings will appear. If you want to use the rubric during grading, ensure “Used for Grading” is selected under “Type”.

Additionally, the settings default to not showing students the rubric. If you want users to be able to view the rubric, ensure that you have changed the "Show" setting to “Yes (With Rubric Scores)” to allow users access.

Ensure that type and show options are set to use for grading and show to students

Once you have added the rubric, you can finish setting up the rest of your assessment and click submit to save the changes.