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Editing Capabilities for Rubrics

Editing Capabilities for Rubrics


I would like to see some additional options for Rubrics.  Specifically, it would be nice to be able to:


  • Insert a new rubric row anywhere within an existing rubric.
  • Drag and drop an existing rubric row to another location in the same rubric.


Use case: I was building a rubric with 40+ rows for an instructor.  After about the 40th row of the rubric, I realized I had forgotten to add a criterion around row 20.  So, I had to delete rows 21 and beyond...insert the row I missed, and then re-add the rows I had initially added.  I soon learned you have to be really careful when building rubrics with lots of rows.

Community Coach
Community Coach

 @amixon ‌...

That’s not a hard feature to add!

Unfortunately, that's not always true.  Please have a look at the section called "If my idea doesn’t align with a priority, is it still important?" in this Canvas document: What is the feature development process for Canvas?.

Community Member

I could not agree more! The "drag and drop" feature is already present in modules and assignments so just please, please add it to rubrics! This is SUCH a time waster to not have that feature

Community Champion


The code that is supplied within the blog was the way it was when I wrote it. Since then I have made changes and the code in the blog isn't the latest version. Instead, at the very top, there is a quick-install so that you don't have to copy/paste code anymore. The code there is a refined version that is simpler than what I had originally and doesn't require the now-missing script.  As others have mentioned, don't use Greasemonkey, it stopped playing nice in near the end of 2017 when Firefox changed the way they do things and it caused a breaking changes in Greasemonkey.

Community Member

James, thank you for following up on this! I had noticed the download script button at the top of the page and tried that, but thought it was still somehow linked to the old script. Quick point for why it didn't work for me right away: the web address for my course is not related to infastructure at all and doesn't generate a */rubrics/* when editing rubrics. After linking through to this page: canvancement/rubrics/sort-rubric at master · jamesjonesmath/canvancement · GitHub  I finally found the necessary troubleshooting information and was able to adjust that line of code in TamperMonkey. 

I do still think it's frustrating that this isn't embedded into Canvas directly, but I appreciate you following up with me and helping me use your work-around. 

Community Participant

Also, adding an option to duplicate rubric would be helpful. That way if you just have one or two rows that are different in another rubric, you can merely edit the rows that need to be changed.

Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @victoria_richar ...

This is already possible...via the Course Import process.  When you go to your course Settings screen, choose Import Course Content.  Then select Copy a Canvas Course from the drop-down list.  Instead of choosing a different course, you're going to choose the same course that you're currently in (which will give you a red "!" that you can hover over to read more...but that's ok).  Next, choose Select specific content, and then Import.  When prompted, drill down to the specific rubric(s) that you want to make a copy of, and the Course Import tool should duplicate those for you so that you can made an needed edits.

Community Member

Hi Chris

I have tried to import the same rubric twice to a new course by doing the following


copy a Canvas course

select course A rubrics to import into course B


now I have all of the rubrics

I realized I would like the conversions rubric twice. I went back to settings, import course A into course B, select the conversions rubric.  Import

i will still only have one conversion rubric. It just keeps over-writing the one already there.

so why would copying the course I am already in “trick” Canvas into duplicating a rubric when copying a different course won’t?

Community Coach
Community Coach

 @amixon ...

That's a great question...and one that I'm not sure that I have an answer for.  I was able to replicate exactly what you described.  When I imported a rubric from one course (A) to another (B), no matter how many times I made edits to the imported rubric, when I re-imported from (A) to (B), another copy of the rubric was never made.  In fact, you can confirm this by looking at the ID number of the rubric when you view rubrics via your "Outcomes" page.  For example:

However, if you duplicate the rubric using the steps I gave  @victoria_richar , then a new instance of the rubric is created, and a new ID number is assigned as well:

Perhaps someone else here in the Community has an answer...which you may want to post as a question over here: Q & A.

Community Member

Either way, thank you for the helpful info!  Saves me doing a LOT of copying and pasting. 

But I just get so frustrated with these bizarre workarounds that Canvas makes us do in order to complete something reasonable and logical!

Community Contributor

Just a renewed plea to everyone voting on and following this idea to review, consider and vote for a standardized rubric cell structure and description headers that have been illustrated in this idea: Create a Secondary Rubric Structure to Conform with Conventions.


Community Participant

Do the designers and product managers of this product even use this feature? If they did, they would move it to the top of the list.

Community Participant

You can use this script while you are waiting for Canvas to make the fixes:

canvancement/rubrics/sort-rubric at master · jamesjonesmath/canvancement · GitHub 

Community Member

Frustrating!! I cannot believe this basic feature does not exist. Please fix it. 

Community Participant

Hmm, it's nearly four years later, and I still don't see any way to add a row or reorder rows in a rubric.  Am I crazy, or did this promised feature evaporate?

Community Coach
Community Coach

 @rodger-ling ...

Try these "Canvancements" (Canvas Enhancements) developed by  @James ‌ while we wait for something to be developed by Instructure:

Importing Rubrics from a Spreadsheet 

Hope this helps!

Community Participant

I am continually shocked at the LACK of basic tools for teachers.. in Canvas...  like the ability to EDIT, ADD, CHANGE rubrics...  really..  and then to have a statement like

"This idea was considered when developing our product plan for Q2 2019 and is not expected to influence development within Canvas at this time." 

What does that mean??    How about helping us..that are IN the LMS ALL the time with the tools we need!   

Wow... as a recent Blackboard (forced) conversion... I am continually shocked at how Canvas was NEVER designed with faculty in mind... 

Fix the RUBRICS...

Community Participant

Well over 500 votes seems like a lot but apparently is not in the top 10% of ideas.  After moving to Canvas from Blackboard, I agree that rubrics are one area where Canvas seems to be weak.  

Community Member

It is ridiculous that Canvas doesn't have the ability to re-order rubric criteria, and that such a basic feature for faculty has to be voted up to get implemented. As software developers, you should be ashamed.

Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi Christopher,

It is important to remember that a Canvas has an incredibly large product with a worldwide base of stakeholders that desire new features and changes to the application. If you have a look at the top 20 features ideas (by positive votes) there are a total of 21032 positive votes between them, that is at least 20 significant features that the community has voted as more desirable than this feature (at this time).

The power of the community is that we CAN vote and that process is transparent, you can champion your peers to come in and vote if this is something that affects them too and help contribute to the process.

Having also been a software product manager myself (note, not at Canvas) there are times when a particular feature or request may seem truly easy and a no brainer, however, there may be other factors that only the Product Manager and development team are aware of that could lead to a decision not to touch a feature in a particular period. 

The job of a Product Manager is not an easy one, balancing the strategic needs of the company, with the internal ideation process, any external ideation process (such as the Canvas Community) and day-to-day needs to support operations (such as bug fixes) all the while getting the most value for the entire community out of the finite engineering and development budget available.

Believe me, I have been on both sides and absolutely feel your frustration, I can tell you that the most productive thing you can do is champion this feature idea to your peers, shout from the rooftops for them to come here and vote if this is something that affects them. By doing this, you help Instructure and most importantly the Product Manager see that this is truly something that can benefit a far broader set of stakeholders.

I hope that clears up a few things about the process and gives you a second perspective while igniting that fire in your belly to champion this idea with your peers to get further visibility in your school. district, state, or even country.


Community Contributor

Reading what ideas are "In development" the biggest vote getter has less than 120 votes. Canvas/Tunitin Integration. How many users here actually use Turnitin?
The 2nd has 95 votes. Late grade options toggle. Given how long it took to create a automation of late grades, that cannot be easy.

The third, at 76 votes, Mark "On Paper" assignments late, which I am happy is in development, seems like something people could've been doing with the tools on hand.

The total number of votes for all the idea in beta is 833.

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In the Canvas Community Ideas space, you can share, converse, and rate idea conversations related to software improvements to Canvas products.