Rubrics can be a valuable tool in providing consistent, clear and specific feedback. Rubrics can also help standardize and increase the efficiency of grading. Rubrics articulate levels of achievement for specific criteria and expectations of an assessment. Building Rubrics requires consideration and time to structure clear expectations. There are generally three different kinds of rubrics that are widely used, holistic, single-point and analytic.

When using Rubrics in Brightspace you must choose an ‘analytical’ or ‘holistic’ rubric style.

Assessments compatible with Rubrics

Rubrics can be used with the following assessments:

  1. Assignments

  2. Discussions

  3. Grades

Feedback input into rubrics in Assignments and Discussions transfers to the grade item in Grades.

Tools that cannot have a rubric attached in Brightspace: Quizzes, Surveys, Self-Assessments.

WARNING: When grading using a rubric: do not click the criterion score box to type in the point value manually. You must click a level for each criterion. If every criterion does not have a level selected, or the score was entered manually initially, the rubric will show in the assessment as ‘incomplete’ and will not display to students in their feedback area. See

Analytic vs. Holistic Rubrics

Holistic Rubrics , as the name applies, evaluate and give feedback on the assessment as a whole. They use a single row to articulate criteria expectations and the varying levels of achievement. It allows for more comprehensive feedback with the possibility of individualized feedback (if overall feedback text accompanies the rubric) but they can lack targeted specific criteria.

  • Holistic rubrics lend themselves to an overall focus is on quality, proficiency and understanding where time and need for specific feedback is at a minimum. Holistic rubrics do not assign values to specific criteria and learners may not be able to identify discrete areas for improvement. These rubrics also allow for more variation in grading. Holistic rubrics are often used when there are unique and varied responses to assessment guidelines.

Analytic Rubrics template feedback with multiple criteria and multiple levels of achievement. The result is a grid that includes targeted, specific details about criteria for evaluation. Analytic rubrics tend to break down the whole into constituent parts. The analytic rubric can be highly diagnostic but it can also be rigid.

  • Analytic rubrics are often used when there are specific skills, problem-solving or applications of knowledge being evaluated, or if the responses to the assessment are similar in nature. They also work well for complex assignments. Analytic rubrics are effective when students have opportunities to improve or respond to feedback in a secondary component of the assessment. Analytic rubrics identify instructor priorities for the assessment and standardize grading for multiple graders.

Creating Rubrics

The Rubrics tool can be located through Course Tools on the navbar or within the Assignments or Discussions Evaluation and Feedback area.  Rubrics can be created independently in the Rubrics tool and linked to an assessment in Assignments or Discussions or creating rubrics can occur within the assessment, for example in assignments during the creation process ( see the “Evaluation and Feedback options”).

Option 1

Rubrics can be made through the Rubrics tool directly. Go to Course ToolsCourse Admin. Rubrics can be found under the “Assessment” heading.

From Course Admin, find the heading “Assessment” and click Rubrics.

The course admin tab highlighted under the Course Tools drop-down menu.
The course admin tab highlighted under the Course Tools drop-down menu.
The course administration page highlighting the Rubrics Tool under the assessment category.
The course administration page highlighting the Rubrics Tool.

On the Rubrics page, click New Rubric.

On the Edit Rubric page, enter your rubric details:

Name should contain a unique name that enables you to identify it in a list. Consider if this rubric will be reused or imported into other courses when you choose a name.

In the top right corner of the screen Status indicates the availability of the rubric. See below for more information on Rubric Status.

Option 2

Instructors can skip going to the Rubrics area to create a rubric by going to the “Evaluation and Feedback” sub-menu of Assignments and Discussions Topics, and selecting “Create New” under Add Rubric.

For further understanding and pedagogy when creating and using rubrics, please review our Brightspace at Brock Resource site.

About Rubric status options

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 associated with activities that were previously created but they cannot be evaluated or updated. Students continue to see student-visible rubric evaluations on archived rubrics and their scores in activity summary, user progress, and Grades. students do not see the Archived state tag, however, they can see evaluations and feedback provided using an archived status rubric.

Edit Rubric Area

Type indicates whether the rubric is analytic or holistic.

Scoring indicates whether you are using no score, points, or custom points to assess the rubric. For more information see About Rubric types and Scoring options.

Reverse Level Order is a way to determine whether the higher level ratings are organized from left to right or right to left.

Rubric Options

Rubric Visibility

Instructors can set the visibility of individual rubrics. Creating or editing a rubric includes the following options: Rubric is visible to students, Rubric is hidden from students until feedback published, and Rubric is hidden from students (but you can select Include Rubric feedback in overall feedback, if that is your intention).

Choosing Rubric is visible to students: students are able to preview the rubric when they view the Assignment, Discussion Topic, or Grade Item - only if that assessment is visible to them.

Choosing Rubric is hidden from students until feedback published: students are not able to see the rubric until it has been scored and published to them.

Choosing Rubric is hidden from students: students will not see the rubric before, during, or after the assessment, even if feedback is published the rubric will remain hidden.

Score Visibility

This option allows students to view the rubric but will hide scores from them.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes at Brock is in progress and has yet to be fully developed. Maintaining the default of “Automatically map achievement levels to percentage scores” is the recommended action. D2L documentation on Learning Outcomes for more information.


Add a description for your personal reference. It will not be shared with students.

Advanced Availability

These tools and associations are not currently in use. Please contact if interested in learning more.



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