Rubrics in D2L are used to evaluate and grade students based on a defined set of criteria. Instructors can create rubrics for specific assignments or for groups of assignments. Instructors create a list of criteria for which students will be graded along with levels of achievement for each criterion. Points earned for each level can be the same throughout the rubric (points rubric) or they can be different for each criterion (custom points rubric), allowing the instructor to weigh some criterion more heavily than others. Rubrics can be attached to discussion boards, dropbox items, and quizzes.

Custom Points Analytic Rubric
Custom Points Analytic Rubric - Criterion achievement level points can be different for teach criterion, allowing grades to be weighted by criterion.

Points Analytic Rubric
Points Analytic Rubric - Criterion achievement level points are the same for each level.

Using Rubrics for Student Feedback

Attaching rubrics to discussion boards, quizzes, and dropboxes allows instructors to provide detailed feedback on student submissions. Instructors select boxes that indicate which level of achievement students have earned by predetermined criteria. Instructors are not limited to the feedback and points initially set up on each rubric. They may change rubric points and make additional comments on the fly. 

Creating Rubrics

  1. Rubrics are most often created directly in the rubrics tool. You may access the rubrics tool in one of the following ways. 
    1. Left Navigation > Grades > Rubrics
    2. Drop Down Menu > Assessment > Rubrics
    3. Course Administration Widget (Below left hand navigation) > Assessment > Rubrics
    4. Edit Course > Rubrics
  2. Choose the type of rubric you want to create. Most people use points or custom points analytic rubrics.
    1. Custom points analytic rubrics -  allow instructors to weigh some criterion more heavier than other criteria because they allow the levels for each criterion to have a different number of points.
    2. Point analytic rubrics - all criteria are weighted the same because each criterion level is worth the same number of points.
  3. Determine the number of criterion and levels that will be used in your rubric.
  4. Fill out the rubric with criterion names and level descriptions. Then apply points for each level of achievement.
  5. Save and publish the rubric.
    • Note: if the rubric remains in draft mode it cannot be attached to an assignment. Likewise, if a rubric is published it can no longer be changed. If changes need to be made to a rubric copy the rubric and change the copy.
  6. Attach the rubric to the appropriate assessment by locating the Add Rubric button in the assessment.
    1. More than one rubric can be added to an assessment. The rubric that will send points to the gradebook must be indicated when attaching rubrics to dropboxes. 
  7. Grade students either from the specific tool for which the assignment resides or from the gradebook connected to that assignment. The rubric will be visible when each student's submission is open for grading. (Students can see all rubric assessments from the View Progress tool. More information below.)
  8. When the rubric feedback is saved the total number of points selected for each student should automatically save to the assignment points field. If the points are not transferred, return to the rubric and make sure that all criteria have been evaluated. Partially filled out rubrics will not transfer points to the points field.

Grading with Rubrics

Grading Student Dropbox Submissions

  • To grade submissions with rubrics in the dropbox tool, open the student's evaluation window in the Folder Submissions page. View the student's submission, click the link to open the rubric, feedback levels (changing points if needed - click the pencil), and add additional comments as appropriate (click the pencil).
  • When multiple rubrics are attached to a dropbox, only points from one rubric will be submitted to the points field of the attached gradebook column.
  • In a group drop box, all the students in each group will receive the same grade.

Grading Student Discussion Board Submissions

  • The option to attach a rubric to a discussion board is located on the Assessment tab when editing a discussion topic.
  • To grade from the discussion board, click Assess Topic. Then select the Topic Score of the student to grade.
  • To grade discussion postings from the gradebook choose Grade All from the grade column dropdown menu and then click the bubbles corresponding to the student postings you would like to grade.
  • If grades entered from the  from the discussion board tool are not reflected in the gradebook, click Publish All Scores to Grades to republish all attempts to the gradebook. Retract All Scores will unpublish all grades from the gradebook.

How do Students View Rubric Feedback?

Student Progress Tool

Students now have the ability to view rubric feedback in the User Progress tool. Complete the following steps to view rubric feedback.

  1. In the Assessment drop down menu in your course, click the User Progress link. Note: If your instructor has chosen not to display the dropdown menus he/she will need to add a link to User Progress in the course banner in order for you to view rubric feedback.
  2. Select the tool and then the assignment for which you want to view rubric feedback. After selecting a assignment, grade info and the rubric icon will appear. Click on the rubric icon to display the graded rubric.
  3. Students can also find general feedback notes in the Grades window of their course.

Dropbox Tool

  1. Open the dropbox tool
  2. Click the View bubble in the feedback column for the dropbox for which you want to view your instructor's feedback.
    View Rubric Feedback
  3. You will be able to view  rubric feedback along with links to TurnItIn originality reports and GradeMark comments if your instructor is using these tools in conjunction with rubrics.
    View rubric and GradeMark feedback and TurnItIn originality report


Tutorials and Tips are still being moved to this site from previous locations on MTSU servers.

Scan this QR code to call the FITC

If you do not see what you need please call 615-904-8189 or scan this QR code.