Rubrics | About rubrics

In this article, you can find information on the Rubrics Tool in Brightspace. Rubrics enable you to evaluate an activity or item based on a set of predefined criteria.  Rubrics include evaluation criteria, levels of performance and description for each level and each criterion. Rubrics may be created and shared with course offerings. Instructors can create rubrics at the course level and reuse them in other course offerings via Import/Export/Copy Course Components. Learn more about this in How to copy a course.

Use the Rubrics tool to create rubrics and add them to assessment activities and items within your course. Use rubrics to evaluate assignment submissions and discussion activities. Rubrics can be useful both for evaluating students and for letting students know how they are evaluated. Rubrics in Brightspace even give you the option to provide some feedback to your students! In the following picture, you can see an example of what criteria and levels in a rubric look like.

example of rubric

In this article you will find information about: the overall workflow to set up and use a rubric.

Overall workflow to set up and use a rubric

There are several steps needed in order to set up a rubric. In most cases, rubrics are created and linked to an assignment or discussion topic. At the same time, rubrics are linked to grade items, that receive the grade given by the rubric and send the grades to the gradebook.

To set up a rubric linked to an assignment and to a grade item, you will need to follow these steps:

1. Create an assignment/discussion topic and a grade item that will be linked to the rubric

Learn more about creating assignments/discussion topics and grade items here:

2. Create a rubric

Learn more about creating rubrics in this article:

3. Link the rubric to the assignment/discussion topic and to the grade item

Learn more about associating rubrics to assignments/discussion topics here:

4. Evaluate student submissions through the rubric

Learn how to evaluate student submissions here:

Here you can see an example of how the connection between a rubric and the grade item works:

•There is an assignment called 'Assignment 2' that is associated with a rubric.

  • The rubric has a maximum of 12 points among all the criteria.
  • There is a grade item called 'Grade assignment 2' that counts for 5 out of 10 points in calculating the final grade.

•The grade item 'Grade assignment 2' is linked to the assignment 'Test Assignment 2'



  1. Teachers evaluate student submissions by filling in the rubric.
  2. A student receives 9 points out of 12 in the rubric. This is 75% of the maximum possible grade in the rubric.
  3. The student will receive 75% of the possible points for that grade item. This is 75%*5 = 3.75
  4. The student received 3.75 points for the final calculated grade.

It is also possible to view the statistics of how students got graded in each level of an assignment. You can see the overall frequency, each criteria score frequency and individual statistics per students in the Rubric Statistics. Learn more about it in How to view Rubric Statistics.

5. Manage the rubrics list

When creating and modifying copies of rubrics it might get difficult to keep track of all the versions used;

  • Use the rubric description field, in the options section when editing the rubric, to better identify different versions. This is visible in the rubrics list but not visible for the students.
  • Change the rubric status to Archived to store past rubrics when creating and modifying copies for future evaluations. Past evaluations with that rubric will be kept.

Rubrics that are changed to Archived will show an Archived  tag. The tag is not visible for students, but if they have been evaluated using an archived rubric, they will still be able to see those evaluations and feedback.

By default, archived rubrics will be hidden from the rubrics list. To display them:

  1. Click on Show Search Options next to the search bar
  2. Check the box for Archived under Rubric Statuses. 
  3. Click on the magnifying glass on the search bar to apply the search options.


Now you know about Rubrics in Brightspace!


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