A rubric is a tool that lists evaluation criteria for an assignment. Rubrics can help students organize their efforts to meet the requirements of an assignment. Instructors use rubrics to ensure consistent and impartial grading.

Watch a Tutorial then Download a Starter Rubric:

  1. How to Create a Rubric to Grade Student Work
  2. How to Grade Using a Rubric
  3. Download “Sample” Blackboard Rubrics

How to Create a Rubric:

New rubrics default to three rows and three columns (scroll down to learn how to reuse or exchange rubrics with colleagues):

  1. On your course’s Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and select Rubrics.
  2. On the Rubrics page, click Create Rubric.
  3. Type a Name for the rubric. The name is the title text that identifies the rubric.
  4. Enter a Description to make it easier to associate it to relevant assignments.
  5. Edit the rubric grid (see next section).
  6. Click Submit.

How to Edit the Rubric Grid:

Edit the rubric grid so it corresponds to the type of feedback and scoring appropriate for the assignment:

  1. Click Add Row to add a new criterion at the bottom of the grid.
  2. Click Add Column to add a new level of achievement to the grid.
  3. Choose a Rubric Type from the drop-down list:
    • No Points: Feedback only.
    • Points: Single point value for each Level of Achievement.
    • Point Range: Range of values for each Level of Achievement.
    • Percent: Flexible depending on each assignment’s possible points.
    • Percent Range: Range of values for each Level of Achievement. During the grading process, you select the appropriate percentage level for a particular Level of Achievement and the system calculates the points earned by multiplying the weight x achievement percentage x item points.
  4. Click Edit from a label’s contextual menu to change their names. A label identifies the rows and columns with heading names.
  5. Type a point or percentage value for each row.
  6. Type a description defining the criteria and the associated Level of Achievement.
  7. Click Submit.

Each cell has a 1,000-character limit. You can reorder rows and columns by clicking the reordering functions located above the labels.

After you use a rubric for grading, you cannot edit it. You can copy the rubric to create a duplicate rubric that you can edit (see section on copying and editing a rubric further down the page).

Using Percentage-Based Rubrics:

When you are using percent-based rubrics, select from the following options:

  • On the action bar, select the Show Criteria Weight check box to show or hide criteria weights. If additional rows are added when weights are hidden, weights for new criteria are distributed equally.
  • Use the Balance Weights function after adding a new row to keep all criteria weighted equally. If you prefer individual criteria weighting, type percentages for each criterion. You must select the Show Criteria Weight check box for the Balance Weights function to appear.
  • The total weight for all criteria must equal 100%. No row may have a 0% weight. At least one Level of Achievement must have a value of 100%.

Copying and Editing a Rubric

Copying a rubric is helpful if you have similar assignments for your students that will follow the same criteria. This allows you to keep the settings, and you can rename the rubric. You can also copy a rubric when you want to edit a rubric that was already used for grading.

You can duplicate a rubric by selecting the Copy option from a rubric’s contextual menu. A copy is created automatically with the name of the rubric in parentheses followed by the number one. For example, you can copy “Introductory Speech” to create “(Introductory Speech)(1).”

You can edit a rubric’s name to add a new name by selecting Edit from the rubric’s contextual menu. The Edit Rubric page allows you to edit all the settings for a rubric.

Importing and Exporting Rubrics

To facilitate sharing rubrics between Blackboard Learn courses, you are able to export and import rubrics. You should not edit the rubric outside of Blackboard Learn.

  1. On the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and select Rubrics.
  2. To import a rubric, click Import Rubric on the action bar and browse for the file. Click Submit to upload the file.-OR-To export a rubric, select the check box next to the rubric’s name and click Export on the action bar. You can download and import the file into a different course or share it with other instructors for use in their Blackboard Learn courses.

Additional Assistance:

  • Call our Blackboard Help line 24 hours a day, every day at (213) 740-5555 and choose option 2.
  • Faculty can request help and training from USC’s Enterprise Learning Technologies group by submitting a request to