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Rubrics in Canvas

Rubric IconRubrics in Canvas 

Learning Continuity Alignment:

LC IconLC3: Emphasize Learning Outcomes 

Communicate how learning outcomes align with course activities, assignments, and assessments.

LC IconQuality Matters Alignment: 

QM 3.1 The assessments measure the achievement of the stated learning objectives or competencies. 3.2 The course grading policy is stated clearly at the beginning of the course.  

QM 3.3 Specific and descriptive criteria are provided for the evaluation of learners’ work, and their connection to the course grading policy is clearly explained.



A well-designed rubric is a useful and functional tool for teachers and students to evaluate and improve student work. A good rubric provides a structure for grading student work, and it also transparently and consistently conveys expectations of performance to students. These expectations should be clearly connected to the achievement of learning outcomes. Students use rubrics to understand not only what they will be assessed on, but also how they will be assessed, including how points are distributed across different aspects of the assignment. By breaking down the assignment into specific criteria and levels of achievement, rubrics can also help faculty provide more targeted feedback to students, highlighting areas where they excel and areas where they need to improve. Rubrics further benefit faculty by increasing the likelihood that grading will be impartial and reliable, while also making grading more time efficient. In sum, a good rubric should be clear, organized, and focused on the assignment's learning objectives.  

What makes a good rubric?  Overall, rubrics should be used in close conjunction with the relevant learning outcomes and assignment instructions as a foundation for students to begin their work and later as the reference point for discussion of student work and feedback on the work. Consider the following elements of effective rubrics: 

  1. Criteria align with course or module learning outcomes.  
  2. Criteria are clear, transparent, and understandable without further explanation.   
  3. Criteria are relevant and meaningful to the assignment or project. 
  4. Categories should not overlap. 
  5. If time and class structure allow, good rubrics can be developed jointly by faculty and students. 


Susan Henney, Ph.D. | Professor of Psychology
Faculty Demonstration


Susan Henney, Ph.D. | Professor of Psychology
Faculty Demonstration


Susan Henney, Ph.D. | Professor of Psychology
Faculty Demonstration

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