Create a rubric

  1. From Course Admin, click Rubrics.
  2. On the Rubrics page, click New Rubric.
  3. On the Edit Rubric page, enter your rubric details. For more information, see New / Edit Rubric page.
  4. Click Close.

New / Edit Rubric page

Name: A unique name for the rubric, for example, Critical Evaluation.

Rubric Status: The availability of the rubric:

  • Draft: The initial status of a rubric. Draft rubrics are not yet available for new associations.
  • Published: Associations can be made with published rubrics. Once a rubric has an association, you cannot change the rubric's name, description, levels, and criteria.
  • Archived: Archived rubrics do not appear in default search results and are not available for new associations. Existing associations with archived rubrics remain functional.
    Note: Users with permission to change a rubric's status can do so at any time.

Description: This is an optional field that appears in the Options section at the bottom of the page. For example: Critical thinking is a habit of mind characterized by the comprehensive exploration of issues, ideas, artifacts, and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion.

Type: The type of rubric:

  • Analytic: Two-dimensional rubrics with levels of achievement as columns and assessment criteria as rows. Allows you to assess participants' achievements based on multiple criteria using a single rubric. You can assign different weights (value) to different criteria and include an overall achievement by totaling the criteria. With analytic rubrics, levels of achievement display in columns and your assessment criteria display in rows. Analytic rubrics may use a points, custom points, or text only scoring method. Points and custom points analytic rubrics may use both text and points to assess performance; with custom points, each criterion may be worth a different number of points. For both points and custom points, an Overall Score is provided based on the total number of points achieved. The Overall Score determines if learners meet the criteria determined by instructors. You can manually override the Total and the Overall Score of the rubric.
  • Holistic: Single criterion rubrics (one-dimensional) used to assess participants' overall achievement on an activity or item based on predefined achievement levels. Holistic rubrics may use a percentage or text only scoring method.

Scoring: used to assess rubrics with textual performance levels such as Excellent, or with text and numeric score such as Excellent (90 points). There are several ways to score a rubric:

  • No Score: Performance levels indicated by text. For example, three performance levels for a rubric can be Poor, Good, and Excellent.
  • Points: This scoring method is only available to analytic rubrics. Performance levels indicated by points. For example, three performance levels for a rubric can be Poor (0 points), Good (75 points), and Excellent (125 points).
  • Custom Points: This scoring method is only available to analytic rubrics. The Custom Points scoring method is similar to the Points scoring method, but you can customize the points given for each criterion. For example, if performance levels are Poor, Good, and Excellent, then the criterion Spelling and Grammar can be worth 0 points, 10 points, and 20 points for each level, and the criterion Expression can be worth 0 points, 30 points, and 60 points, making it worth three times the points of Spelling and Grammar.
  • Percentages: This scoring method is only available to holistic rubrics. A holistic rubric using Percentages can be automatically assessed based on the score of its associated item, for example, a Grade item.


Rubric Visibility: The visibility of the rubric. Hiding a rubric is useful for preventing learners from using the preview rubric as an answer key for an activity. For more information, see Controlling visibility of rubrics.

Learning Outcomes: This feature only appears when the scale has percentage values defined and is only enabled for points-based and custom points-based rubrics. For no score rubrics, the threshold marker placement is suggested and adjustable since there is no score calculation in the rubric. Do one of the following:

  • If you want to automatically map scores, select Automatically map achievement levels to percentage scores.
  • If you want to manually adjust scores, select Manually map achievement levels to rubric levels. For more information, see Edit Rubrics

Hide Scores: Hide scores from learner view.

Advanced Availability: Associates a rubric with a tool such as Competencies or Brightspace ePortfolio as a means of assessing items created in those tools. When you create an association for a rubric, you cannot edit or delete the rubric. To make changes after associating it with a tool, you should change the rubric’s status to Archived, then copy the rubric and make your changes to the new copy. To associate your rubric with Competencies or Brightspace ePortfolio, select the Competencies or ePortfolio check boxes. In addition, you can click the Add Org Units button to share a rubric created at the organization level with other org units.


Note the following:

  • The top of the page displays the rubric type and scoring method. You can change the type and scoring method at any time; however, changing your rubric from analytic to holistic will cause all but the first row of your rubric to be deleted.
  • As you add or edit rubric information, your changes are automatically saved.
  • You can re-order criteria using drag and drop or using your keyboard.
  • A rubric description is what is required to achieve the level for each criterion. Achievement level descriptions help evaluators determine which level best reflects a user's achievement. The more detailed your descriptions are, the more consistent evaluations will be.
  • You can add bolding, italics, and lists to rubric descriptions. You can also use Insert Stuff to add third-party content, for example, images. Rubric descriptions do not support replace strings and additional HTML code.
  • You can add predefined feedback that appears to users who achieve a specific level, and it is an easy way to communicate a rubric's evaluation methodology. Predefined feedback does not support HTML.
  • If you are creating a holistic rubric that uses a percentage scoring method, enter a start range. The start range for your lowest achievement level is automatically set to 0%. The start range for other levels should be the lowest percentage acceptable for the level. The highest percentage is determined by the start range for the level above.

Controlling visibility of rubrics

You can control rubric visibility for learners. This is useful for preventing learners from using preview rubrics as answer keys for activities. For example, you can describe assessment expectations in assignment instructions, hiding the associated preview rubric. Once the assignment is graded, you release the graded rubric as part of the learner's assessment details.

Rubric visibility is controlled in two ways:

  • Administrators can set the default visibility of new rubrics at the org unit level.
  • Instructors can set the visibility of individual rubrics. Creating or editing a rubric includes the following options: Rubric is always visible to learners, Rubric is hidden until feedback published, and Rubric is never visible to learners.

Note: If an instructor attempts to publish a partially completed rubric evaluation, the partial evaluation dialog appears. By default, the Continue Grading option is selected and the instructor can tap ENTER to return to the rubric, or tap Publish Anyway to continue to publish the partial evaluation. This workflow ensures that there is a verification layer to reconsider their action and ensure that instructors are not mistakenly publishing incomplete evaluations.

To indicate rubric visibility to instructors, rubrics that are hidden until feedback is published or rubrics that are never visible display an indicator in the Rubrics section of the associated activity. Visible rubrics do not display an indicator.

Note the following:

  • Feedback copied from hidden rubrics only displays for learners; it is not visible to instructors as they have access to the rubric. The visibility status of a rubric can only be changed at the rubric level, not at the activity level. For example, you cannot change the visibility of a rubric from an assignment.
  • Visibility is a property of a rubric and not an individual assessment. Rubric definitions and published feedback appear in the assessment tool where the rubric is used.

    Note: Starting with the June 2020/20.20.6 release, this includes Assignments and Grades. Other tools, including Discussions, Brightspace Portfolio, and Outcomes Progress will be updated to use rubrics in future Brightspace updates.
  • For individual and group discussions, an instructor assesses the rubric in the assess topic workflow. Upon saving the assessment, the rubric feedback is considered published.