How to create D2L rubrics

Follow these instructions to create an analytic rubric.

1. In the navigation bar, click on Assessment and then select Rubrics.

Rubrics item under assessment dropdown

Click New Rubric.

New rubric button

2. Set up the new rubric following the recommended options (criteria, levels and points).

Enter a rubric Name, select a type, number of levels and criteria.

D2L rubric

Analytic Rubric (recommended)

Two-dimensional rubric with levels and criterion, used to assess participants’ achievement based on multiple criteria using a single rubric.

Holistic Rubric

Single criteria rubric used to assess participants’ overall achievement on an activity or item based on predefined achievement levels.

Points (recommended)
Includes text and points descriptors (e.g.: Undeveloped-1 point, Emerging-2 points).

Custom Points
This option is similar to Points, but you can customize the number of points for each criterion.

Levels and Criteria

You can change the default number of Levels by changing its values.  Consider, for example, the following 4 levels

  • Exemplary; score 4/4 points
    • Proficient; score 3/4 points
    • Emerging; score 2/4 points
    • Undeveloped; score 1/4 point)

Enter a value for the Initial # of Criteria.  Consider, for example, the following 3 criteria:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Creativity
  • Innovation

Specify the names of the levels, and the maximum number of points for each level.  Next, specify the criterion for assessment. After specifying level names, maximum points, and criteria, the rubric appears as follows.

Criteria and levels in a rubric

Add a description for the level requirements (Exemplary to Undeveloped) for each criterion. Let’s consider Critical Thinking criterion.

Descriptions for levels of a criterion

Note: Initial Feedback is optional.

The overall score at the bottom of the rubric identifies the range of scores required for each level (e.g.: “11 or more”).  To edit the values, just enter them under levels in the section Overall Score

Note: “11 or more” is a default setting. In the example provided, the maximum number of points for the assignment is 12 (i.e.: the learner is awarded 4/4 for each of the three criteria).  A score of 11 or more is categorized as Level 4 achievement (e.g.: Exemplary).  

The minimum score for each level achievement can be modified.  A description/feedback, for each overall score is optional. 

Save changes.

3. Set up rubric visibility, score and association. Scroll down and click on the arrow-right icon by Options button. The following window will pop up. 

rubric visibility options

Rubric Visibility: You can choose whether you want your students to see/hide a rubric/feedback and scores. For that, just check out appropriate options. 

  • Rubric is visible to students: Students will be able to see the empty Rubric before submitting their work, and then see a link to their graded Rubric once assessments are published.
  • Rubric is hidden from students: Only instructors, TAs and Graders will see the rubric attached to a tool.
  • Rubric is hidden until feedback published: Students will see a link to their graded Rubric once assessments are published.
  • Hide scores from students: If this box is checked, students will still see check marks without a numerical score in each Level and the Overall Score Level in the rubric. The published score for the entire assignment will appear in the Score field.

Advanced Availability: a rubric is not available for use by a tool unless the corresponding check box has been selected in the Advanced Availability section labelled “Allow new associations in“. Make sure the boxes are checked.

When finished editing, click Close and all the changes will be saved automatically. 

4. Publish a finalized Rubric.

You will need to publish your rubric before you can associate it with course activities.

Once a rubric has been associated with an activity in your D2L course site and assessments have been made using that rubric, you can no longer make changes to it. Before publishing your rubric for use, check everything to make sure it is right.

  1. Select the down arrow to the right of the rubric you’d like to change the status for.
  2. Select Set Status.
  3. Select Published
rubric status

NOTE: For consistency’s sake, if the learning activity is linked to the gradebook, please ensure the Out of/ Max Points value for the assessment item, rubric and grade item all match. 

Click here to learn how to attach a rubric to existing activities.

For sample rubrics, see:

For Brightspace resources and videos on how to create rubrics, click here.