Canvas for Instructors




Rubrics are an assessment and evaluation tool used to communicate expectations and standards of quality for online-submitted student work.

Example of course rubric on Canvas

Each rubric is comprised of various course outcomes that can be uniquely created for a specific assignment or built using existing outcomes. Rubrics consist of rows, which are used to define the criteria to grade an assignment, and columns, which dictate levels of performance for each criterion.

All rubrics and coursework evaluations on Canvas are stored in Outcomes, which acts as a central rubric repository where creating and editing rubrics can take place.

Rubric repository in Outcomes on Canvas

Why use Rubrics?

Rubrics are used to:

  • Communicate coursework and assignment expectations to students.
  • Align pre-determined learning objectives and outcomes to course assessments.
  • Assess and evaluate online submissions, in combination with SpeedGrader™.

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Creating a Rubric

  • Rubrics can be created either in the Outcomes menu or by adding a rubric to an assignment or discussion (see section below)
  • To edit a criterion, click on the text to enable the text box and begin typing. Click OK when you’re finished.

Creating a rubric interface

  • You can also change the amount of points a criterion is out of by clicking on the Pts box and changing the number
  • Click on the Add Criterion button to add more criteria to the rubric

Add criterion button

  • To delete a criterion, click on the x at the end of the row 
  • To add more rating columns, place your cursor in between the Full Marks and No Marks column

Ratings column in rubric

  • Left-click on that area. A new column would then appear in between the two columns

Adding new column under ratings

  • Check the I'll write free-form comments when assessing students box to enable comments for each criterion in the rubric.
  • Check Use this rubric for assignment grading to input the points for each students’ assignment directly onto the rubric. This will allow the students to view the breakdown of their grade as well as their final score.
  • The Hide score total for assessment results box will only be available if you did not check the Use this rubric for assignment grading box
  • Click Create Rubric when finished.

Adding a Rubric to an Assignment or Discussion

  • Click on the Assignments link.
  • From here, you can either create new, or choose from existing, assignments and discussions to add rubrics to. When creating a new assignment or discussion, click on Add Assignment, and in the type dropdown menu, select either Assignment or Discussion. Update any of the options according to your preferences and click Update.

 Adding an assignment button on CanvasChanging the type of the assignment on Canvas

  • Click on the assignment/discussion's title to open it and then click on Add Rubric.
  • To add a rubric in a discussion, click on the gear icon at the top right of the screen, then click Add Rubric

Adding a rubric in discussion

  • To use a previously created rubric, click on Find a Rubric

Find a rubric button

  • The following window will pop up

Finding a rubric interface

  • This will be a list of classes and rubrics in those classes. Choose your desired rubric then click Use This Rubric
  • From here, you can edit various rubric details, import existing outcomes, or find an existing rubric to insert into the assignment/discussion. For details on how to create a rubric, go to the Create a Rubric section. 

 Assignment Rubric Details on Canvas

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Adding a Rubric to a Quiz

To add a rubric to a quiz:

  • Click the Quizzes link and then click on the quiz's title.
  • Go up to the top-right portion of the page and, next to the Edit button, click on the gear icon. Select Show Rubric, and when the pop-up window appears, select Add Rubric.

Using the gear icon to select Show Rubric and more options on Canvas Add Rubric button on Canvas

  • From here, you can edit various rubric details, import existing outcomes, or find an existing rubric to insert into the quiz. For details on how to create a rubric, go to the Create a Rubric section. 

Assignment rubric details on Canvas

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Reusing Rubrics Across Courses

In order to reuse rubrics from other Canvas courses, you will need to import content from one course to another. To do this:

  • Go to your course settings

  • On the right hand sidebar, select ‘Import Content into this Course’

Import content into course button

  • In the dropdown menu, select ‘Copy a Canvas Course’ and make sure the ‘select migration content’ box is checked.

Copy canvas course button in drop down list

Select migration content button

  • Select the course you wish to reuse a rubric from, then press ‘import'

  • Under current jobs, click on the ‘Select Content’ button

  • A window will appear. You can choose to either import all content from the course, or choose to select specific content.

Choosing what content to import

Once your rubric has been imported, you can now add it to the quiz. To do this:

  • Go to your quizzes and select the quiz you wish to add the rubric

  • Under the settings icon, click on ‘Show Rubric’ then select, ‘Add Rubric’

Show rubric button

Add rubric button

  • On the top right corner of the pop up window, click on ‘Find a Rubric.’ From there, you will see the rubric that you have just imported. Select the rubric you would like to use, then click ‘Select this Rubric’

Find rubric button

Rubric inserted

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Editing a Rubric

  • To edit a rubric, click on the pencil icon at its top right corner

Editing rubric buttons

  • From there you can add more criteria and edit their descriptions. To edit a criterion description, hover over the text and click on the pencil icon that appears.

Editing rubric button

  • If you checked the "I'll write free-form comments when assessing students" box, you will only have one rating column as shown above. If not, then you will have multiple columns showing the mark distribution. To add more columns, see the Create A Rubric section.

Adding new column

  • To edit a rating, click on the pencil icon. To delete, press the x icon. The + icon adds another column to the right. Editing a rating will bring up this window

Edit rating

  • You can edit the description and number of points that rating will give the student. When you're done, click OK
  • Once you're done editing, click on Update Rubric

Update rubric button

  • If you edit the same rubric that is also being used in another assignment, the message below will pop up

Warning message

  • Click OK. A new rubric would be created with any edits you make. You are then able to edit the rubric as you normally would. After making your edits, click on Update Rubric
  • If you didn't rename the rubric, it would add a "(1)" at the end indicating that this is a new one. You will have to end up with two different rubrics and would not be able to simultaneously edit multiple rubrics in different assignments.