Active Teaching Lab Recap: Rubrics

Fri February 1, 2019

A good rubric can guide student effort and make grading easier for the instructor. At the cold February 1, 2019 Active Teaching Lab, 10 participants discussed how to fashion an effective rubric within Canvas. Participants explored the advantages and disadvantages of different rubric designs and shared what’s worked and what hasn’t worked for them in the rubric development process.


  • Identify what you want students to take away from the assignment, course, and field/discipline. Align rubric criteria categories to assess these “enduring understandings” to help ensure the assignment is clearly defined and aligned.
  • Plan rubrics in Google Sheets or Excel before moving into Canvas for simplicity in revisions and rethinking.
  • Use clear and simple language; reserve details for individual feedback.
  • Give rubrics to students when the assignment is given and/or involve them in rubric creation or adaptation. Afterwards, involve students in identifying what worked, what was missing, and what was confusing to revise and improve upon the rubric.
  • Use a Non-scoring Rubric in Canvas to help guide student work and focus on feedback without the distraction of stakes-upping point values. 

For more information on rubrics, visit the session’s activity sheet.


The Active Teaching Lab is a Faculty Engagement program with sessions held on Thursdays from 1:00-2:00pm and Fridays from 8:30-9:45am in the Middleton Building (1305 Linden Dr.), room 120. Check out upcoming Labs or read the recaps from past Labs. We build interdisciplinary conversations that are more emergent than a presenter and more dynamic than a panel — a conversation with colleagues sharing challenges, solutions, and experiments on topics selected by a variety of stakeholders.

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