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Give rubrics (including Peer Review) the ability to save without submitting

Give rubrics (including Peer Review) the ability to save without submitting


Currently, assignments with peer reviews or rubrics attached to them do not allow the user to save their scoring and/or comments before submitting. While the Rubric will state "Save Comment" on the bottom, the button’s name is misleading. Instead of saving, it will submit what has been entered into the rubric. After pressing "Save Comment", the user cannot make any alterations to the rubric as it is considered submitted. Many students have reported accidentally submitting an incomplete rubric when they were attempting to save.

The rubric also does not save automatically and leaving the rubric window will clear out any scoring or comments entered. As of now, a user would have to complete the entire rubric scoring in one sitting, without leaving the rubric window. The inability to leave the rubric window prevents users from being able to cross-reference the assignment while going through the criteria.

I suggest there be two buttons displayed at the bottom of the rubric: One being the actual save button, the other for submission.  

Below is my screencast recording the issue and a discussion thread in Canvas community further describing the problem. When brought to Canvas Support’s attention, I was informed that the "Save Comment" button is not bugged and that submitting the rubric is its intended function.

Recording of Issue:

Canvas Discussion Thread:

Peer Review Issues

Community Member

To all the rubric-minded instructors, teachers, and designers here:  Create a Secondary Rubric Structure to Conform with Conventions has been moved from moderation and is now Open for VOTING.

rubric format‌

Community Member

I also want to add that this would solve a major issue I have with rubrics.  My issue is that when you grade using a rubric,  the markings (and comments) in the rubric are NOT saved automatically - nor are you prompted to save before you move off of the rubric page.  The comments you write are auto-saved, so you have a draft if you forget to save. This is not the case with rubrics. You can imagine the pain when you have completed a rubric for a student who had a lot of issues - and a lot of comments in the rubric. You forget to click the Save button, submit your terminal comment, and move on - only to find that all of the work you have completed in the rubric has been 100% lost.  Because we use very long, very detailed rubrics in many cases, it is not trivial to lose that much work. I have to mention that the convention in most applications is to either auto-save OR to warn you when you leave a page with unsaved work.  In fact, even the comments area in SpeedGrader does this - so it is inconsistent that the rubric does not either auto-save or warn.

Learner II

The peer review function using rubric is an excellent idea. Unfortunately the way the rubric and comment feature has been designed is not only confusing, but also  means a student can complete a peer review without giving any feedback at all.

Firstly, (unlike for the tutor) the rubric cannot be resized - making it possible for students to miss part of the rubric.

Secondly,  once the reviewing student saves their rubric it cannot be edited - and revieiwers can save a rubric that has not had any score/level selected (which will then award 0 points if the rubric has scores). Misleadingly in the Canvas Guides it says that students must complete the rubric, when actually all they have to do is click the button.

Thirdly, this is more likely to happen because the button for saving the rubric is misleadingly labelled "save comment". (Meanwhile, the button for actually saving the comment is much more sensibly just labelled save).

peer review button is  labeled misleadingly as save comment, should be save rubric

Fourthly, although when students are peer reveiwing in the assignment, they are specifcally advised that they must leave a comment to complete the peer review, but if the assignment has a rubric, actually they don't have to leave a comment once they have opened up the rubric and clicked save comment their review is considered complete (this is mentioned in the canvas guides, underneath a screen shot showing the message that students see "this peer review is not finished yet. For it to be considered complete you need to leave at least one comment and fill out the rubric form to the right".)

When we set up peer review assignments, we have to write our own instructions to clarify the ambiguous instructions canvas provide, help students through the process, which still doesn't prevent the awkward situation of students accidentally awarding their peers 0 points!

Community Member

Why do we have to vote for something that's just a common internet best practice?

Community Member

Please. Please do this. I just scaled up a peer-marking assignment to over 1000 students and the number of 'I accidentally submitted the rubric, what can I do' emails is eating up my life. It could really be the make-or-break point for an assignment that I love, and that the students are getting a lot out of.


I totally agree! This issue has caused me SO much frustration and wasted time over the years... and it's totally unnecessary. Why should we need to vote on something as simple as auto-save (when that is already a feature in other, less time-consuming aspects of Speed Grader)? It is infuriating! 


Good question. And yet...

Community Coach
Community Coach


After pressing "Save Comment", the user cannot make any alterations to the rubric as it is considered submitted. Many students have reported accidentally submitting an incomplete rubric when they were attempting to save.

Actually, you can edit your scoring after saving a grading rubric, and I do it all the time for two-part assignments. When you go back in, simply click "Open Rubric" to regrade or continue grading.


Community Member

Hi Kelley,

I can certainly do that as an instructor. Like you, I do it all the time. However, my students completing their peer-reviews can only access the rubric once. So if they make a mistake or change their mind (both, I am sure you will agree, common occurrences amongst markers of all levels of experience), they can't correct it. I have had to move away from using Canvas for peer-marking exercises, which has created a range of other hassles, but I couldn't deal with 100 'can you reset the rubric form me' emails.

I have just discovered this user-interface bug while preparing to start using Canvas in my course with 100+ students. My students will certainly expect to be able to enter a few comments, save and then come back later and complete the review, but with current implementation you only get one shot at entering and saving comments for the Rubrics I give them.  I can just imagine the number of e-mails from frustrated students :-(.

What is being done about this?