Topic Overview

A rubric is a document that articulates the expectations for an assignment by listing the criteria by which it will be assessed and differentiating between levels of quality from excellent to poor. This lets students know what constitutes a good submission. 

Rubrics are often used to grade student work but they can serve another, more important, role as well: Rubrics can teach as well as evaluate. Rubrics can also help students develop understanding and the ability to make make dependable, objective judgments about the quality of their own work.

Students can use rubrics in the same ways that teachers use them—to clarify the standards for a quality performance and to guide ongoing feedback about progress toward those standards

Rubrics can be used with the following content:

  • Assignments
  • Essays, short answer, and file response test questions
  • Blogs and journals
  • Wikis
  • Discussion Board threads and forums

Click on Add Rubric to access the drop-down list and choose one of the options below. Note that content must be marked Graded in order to associate a Rubric.

  • Select Rubric- uses a rubric that was previously created in the Rubrics area of Course Tools
  • Create New Rubric- opens a pop-up window to allow immediate creation of a new rubric
  • Create From Existing- uses a previously created rubric as a template to create a new rubric


You can also associate a rubric with any column in the Grade Center by selecting Edit Column Information from the column's contextual menu.


link to Blackboard rubrics video for a short video on using Blackboard rubrics.


Features of Rubrics

  • Can grade using different rubric types:
    • No point value (qualitative) 
    • Points
    • Point Range
    • Percent
    • Percent Range
  • You may choose to share or hide the rubric with the students. By default, rubrics are not shared with students.

    Show or hide rubric to student button

  • When using a rubric to grade assignments, you can change the view between Grid View and List View (see image, below).
  • Blackboard Rubrics allow you to optionally add feedback for each criterion.

    Grid or list view option and optional criterion feedback



How to create a Rubric

  1. From the Control Panel, click Course Tools, then click Rubrics.

    Ribric tool in Blackboard Control Panel

  2. Click Create Rubric.
  3. Enter a Name and Description.
  4. Select the Rubric Type: no points, show points, show point range or percent.
  5. Format the rows and columns in your rubric, and enter content (the rows show criteria and the columns show levels of achievement).
  6. Assign numerical values for each category.
  7. Click Submit.

Attach a Rubric to a learning activity

You can attach an existing rubric to an assignment, test, blog, journal, wiki, or discussion board:

  1. Locate the activity and use the dropdown arrow to edit the activity's options/settings.
  2. Click Add Rubric.
  3. Select an existing rubric, or create a new rubric.

    If you create a new rubric from this point, it will also be added to your stored rubrics for later use.

  4. If you select a Rubric that is point based, the activity’s total possible score is set equal to the rubric total.

    attaching a rubric to a graded discussion

  5. Submit to save any changes.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I reuse rubrics I’ve created in other Blackboard courses?

Yes! If you’ve created a rubric in one course you can export it from class 1, then import it into class 2.


Do not edit the rubric outside of Blackboard.

Export a Blackboard Rubric

  1. Enter the course where you have the rubric.
  2. Click Course Tools > Rubrics.
  3. Check mark the box next to the appropriate rubric, then click Export.

    export rubric from Blackboard course

  4. The next screen has two options:
    1. Export to Local Computer- Here you may save the file to your computer, and are also then able to send the rubric to anyone using a Blackboard course. (Recommended)
    2. Export to Content Collection- After clicking Browse, you are able to save the rubric to another course’s content collection within Blackboard. After choosing the appropriate course in which you wish to save to, click Submit.

Import a Blackboard Rubric

  1. Enter the course where you want to import your Blackboard rubric.
  2. Click Course Tools > Rubrics > Import Rubric.
  3. Choose either Browse My Computer or Browse Content Collection, depending on where you saved the rubric file. Find the appropriate rubric and click Submit.

How do I give feedback using a rubric?

  1. After selecting the grade you wish to award the student, a box appears where you can enter feedback comments to the student.
  2. Also, when grading the assignment there is a large “Feedback to User” box where you can type extensive or overall comments the students.

How do I override an individual’s score for which I used a rubric?

To override an existing grade based on a rubric:  

  1. In the Full Grade Center, hover over the score you wish to adjust then select View Grade Details.

    view rubric button in assignment

  2. From the list of Actions available, select Edit Grade.
  3. Under Current Grade Value, click View Rubric.
  4. You can now make different selections on the rubric, which will cause the student’s grade to change, or you can override the grade that is calculated from the rubric key by typing in a score directly in the “Change the number of points” box.

    using rubric to override grade

Can I use more than one rubric per assignment?

Yes! You will have to choose a primary rubric that is used for grading, but you may attach more than one rubric to an activity or grade book column as a secondary rubric.