kstack
Community Contributor

New color coding in rubrics

I would like to voice strong objections to the recent change in rubrics, adding color coding to the scores, with green for the highest scores and then orange and red for lower scores. I emphasize to my students that a C or B is a good score, but now those who have earned a C or B have red marks on their rubrics. The color coding does not reflect my judgment of my students' achievements, and I hope you will remove it or allow teachers to disable it.

Here is a link to the idea in Canvas Studio, if you'd like to vote on it: https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/12663-make-color-coding-optional-in-rubrics 

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18 Replies
klandry3
New Member

I strongly agree with this original poster's thoughts.  The color scoring gives students a false understanding of appropriate scores and academic averaging.  This current color system facilitates inappropriate thoughts of failure in student minds and encourages grade inflation.  Let us change them, or get rid of them.

I too agree with the original post above.  For my rubric, "Meets Expectations" is Red, which is just not appropriate.  Could we make the feature optional now so we can turn it on or off?  Then we can discuss apppropriate colors collectively. I think the color issue could be complex considering that some people have 5 rubric ratings, some have 4 or 3.  I don't think I would want to select colors for all of my rubric categories along with all the other clicks it requires to create new rubrics. For now though, making this optional is key.  I just released rubrics where most of my students have red ratings because they met but did not exceed expectations.  I sent an announcement to clarify that red for all but Exceeds is a new feature and not likely to stay that way.  Nonetheless, I'm sure it will create anxiety anyway, and a few good students are going to insist on 5/5 just to get rid of the red.

This is unacceptable. The blast of red a student sees if they get anything other than 100% can be demoralizing and sends an absolutely incorrect and plain "wrong" message. For me, students begin with zero and earn points. This seems like we're punishing them for loosing points, or not measuring up. Get rid of this as soon as possible. It is not supportive of student success, not in the least.

isobel_williams
Community Contributor

I agree this gives the wrong message. There should be the choice of colour or not.  A bit like giving a mark - students focus on that rather than the feedback. 

baumannd
New Member

I strongly agree with those who are calling for the instructor to have control over this feature!  The color coding imposes a particular set of values on my assessment of student work that runs counter to what I am trying to teach about taking intellectual risks and using feedback constructively to improve understanding.  Please make it stop!

kona
Coach Emeritus

 @kstack , Probably the best thing you can do to voice your complaints is to create a feature idea for this in the Canvas Studio‌ and then post the link to your idea here so people can go vote and comment on it. 

In addition, here’s a related feature idea - https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/11928-more-color-options-for-non-scoring-rubrics 

kstack
Community Contributor

Thanks for the advice. I've just created an idea in Canvas Studio - we'll see how much traction it gets.

Kelly, Can you post the link to your feature request on this discussion so that we can vote on it without having to go search for it? I've love to vote it up!

kstack
Community Contributor

Thanks for the suggestion. I've just edited the original post to add the link: https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/12663-make-color-coding-optional-in-rubrics 

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elawlor
Community Participant

This discussion dates to 2018, and the vote is currently 60 to 0 in favor of letting instructors change the colors. It's now 2020. Why didn't Instructure listen and act?

bdye
Community Participant

When Instructure makes changes like this, it makes me wonder if they have people with teaching experience on staff in the different area.

Color coding this way is simple an outdated practice. Reminds me of the days of red ink pens grading my English papers.

straussi
Community Champion

Without weighing in on the whole question of the non-scoring rubrics, I wanted to make sure you are aware you can change the colors by using the Learning Mastery configuration. You could even make the colors the lightest grey with the color code "#f2f2f2" so they can be ignored. I tried to make them white, but the configuration didn't want to accept that.

kstack
Community Contributor

Thank you for the information. I'll ask our admin to change them. I still think they should be controllable by instructors, but this will help!

pcallil
Community Participant

Thanks Ira.  After discussion with colleagues, we have gone for Blue at the top, black at "well below" with traffic lights of green, amber and red in the middle. Changing colours is simple and colour codes can be used.  We decided to keep red at "Below M" because the mark is more a warning that something is NQR rather than a punishment.

dwillmore
Community Champion

You may also want to reach out to your CSM.   We have a few issues with the new rubrics.

cheryl5
New Member

I noticed this as well. With my students, I cannot dash their spirits with red marks. Never have, never will. I was told that students do not see the marks. Then why are they there? Why color code it at all? Bring back the old way. I liked when students could see the box and number and read the comments to help them improve. 

I will try @IraStrauss 's suggestion. If I want to add assessment, I will.

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dschuma
Community Participant

Does anybody have documentation regarding the default colors and how Canvas determines which color to use?

Also, I've noticed that colors in account-level rubrics differ slightly from the course-level cousins.  The colors appear to be darker.  

Our faculty also do not approve of the change.  And our assessment office does not want to change the default setup for account-level rubrics by altering the Learning Mastery colors.  Our account-level rubrics have 3 rating levels while course-level rubrics have anywhere from 2 to 5 rating levels.  It's the desire of the assessment office that rubric colors remain to be green for the Meets and Exceeds ratings and red for the "Does Not Meet" rating.  There's also confusion here why a feature for customization would affect both account-level and course-level rubrics as they are intended to be used differently.

cameron_redsell
Community Participant

Agreed. If a student gets 19.999999/20 on a rubric section, they get red. Only perfect is green. Why not at least let the top range be green, neutral for the middle ones, and red for the bottom. That would at least address some of the issues and depending on the back end structure shouldn't be impossible to implement. Heck, just colour code on the section score. Above 2/3 green, 1/3-2/3 neutral, and red below 1/3. Or... last option. Ditch the colours

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