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Why are Rubrics and Assignment Features so Annoying?

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I use rubrics often for grading and I find the interface extremely unwieldy. Am I doing something wrong to make the following problems more acute, or is this just the way it is? And can it be fixed?

1. "Find a Rubric" defaults to a long list of every class you ever taught rather than starting with the rubrics you have available in your current class that you are editing an assignment from. Why is this the case? I often use the same rubric for multiple assignments (e.g. I have 10 discussion posts required in a semester and each post is graded with the same rubric). Each time I go to add that rubric to the assignment prompt, I have to go through the list of all my classes to find it. And the more I teach, the more unwieldy this list becomes (esp with multiple sections of the same class). Can we just default to the class we're in currently, and then go looking into other classes only if we need to?

2. So when I add a rubric to each assignment, Canvas adds a number to the rubric that I copied (1), (2), etc. But they're literally exactly the same rubric in each case - same categories, same points per category, etc. What is the point of proliferating these rubrics? And then if I make a change in the wording of one rubric I have to change them all one by one. Again is there any way to fix this?

3. Why is the "add a rubric" menu item in a separate place from the assignment editing screen? Is there any way we could have the rubric button inside the editing screen of the assignment so I can change the rubric while editing the assignment without going back and forth from one screen to the other? It seems annoying and inefficient when the rubric is part of the assignment and I'm almost always editing both together. (We could still keep the menu option where it is in case users want to edit the rubric without changing the assignment).

4. This is a separate issue, but would it be possible to have a single page editor for all the assignments in a class? Something just for adjusting basic options like due dates, close dates, amount of points, etc. So that I can adjust them all from one page rather than going from one page to another to change the same options. Again if you teach classes for a few years using canvas it becomes really unwieldy to update assignment pages one by one when all you want to do is adjust due dates for example, and it would be really helpful to view all the options on one page. [Forgive me if this already exists but if it does please someone point me to it!]

Thank you to anyone who reads this!

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Community Coach
Community Coach

Good morning, @bernardo ...

I can help to simplify question #1 for you.  @James has a script that you can use to sort the find rubric box so that your current course will appear at the top.  This is a "Canvancement" (Canvas Enhancement) that is not part of the core Canvas product, but I think it will meet your needs.  

I hope this will be of help to you.  Take care, stay safe, and be well.

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Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi @bernardo 

@chofer  solved one of your annoyances, and now I can help with the last one. You can changes assignment dates (all the dates) from one page. Learn more at How do I bulk update due dates and availability dates in Canvas as an instructor?

As for annoyances 2 & 3, have you considered creating a new Idea Conversation, or supporting an existing one? You are not the only user  annoyed with how rubrics work in Canvas. While rubrics are an incredibly useful and powerful tool, the user interface is clumsy beyond belief. If you are interested in Idea Conversations, the following guides will get you started.............

Some current Idea Conversations for rubrics that you might find interesting include..............

I hope this is helpful,

Kelley

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Community Coach
Community Coach

Good morning, @bernardo ...

I can help to simplify question #1 for you.  @James has a script that you can use to sort the find rubric box so that your current course will appear at the top.  This is a "Canvancement" (Canvas Enhancement) that is not part of the core Canvas product, but I think it will meet your needs.  

I hope this will be of help to you.  Take care, stay safe, and be well.

View solution in original post

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Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi @bernardo 

@chofer  solved one of your annoyances, and now I can help with the last one. You can changes assignment dates (all the dates) from one page. Learn more at How do I bulk update due dates and availability dates in Canvas as an instructor?

As for annoyances 2 & 3, have you considered creating a new Idea Conversation, or supporting an existing one? You are not the only user  annoyed with how rubrics work in Canvas. While rubrics are an incredibly useful and powerful tool, the user interface is clumsy beyond belief. If you are interested in Idea Conversations, the following guides will get you started.............

Some current Idea Conversations for rubrics that you might find interesting include..............

I hope this is helpful,

Kelley

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@bernardo 

Rubrics definitely are annoying and I've written a bunch of code to make them nicer for people. I think at one time, I had four different scripts that acted on Rubrics and I've got another one that I haven't found time to publish yet.

That said, part of your frustration is because you are are not using rubrics effectively. When you figure out the best workflow for you, it's still not perfect, but it's a lot less frustrating.

I never create a rubric directly from the assignment itself. Doing so will lead to your second issue with the numbers appended at the end. If the rubrics are going to be the same, then go the Rubrics page in the course navigation and create the rubric there -- once. Then you find that rubric in the actual assignment and use it rather than recreating it. It saves a lot of time as you're not duplicating effort. Of course, I do use the script that @chofer mentioned that improves the find a rubric functionality.

Not everyone uses rubrics and so including the rubric functionality as part of the assignment itself would unnecessarily add complexity to the interface. That complexity may lead to people recreating rubrics who didn't understand that they should be finding rubrics instead or found it easier to retype because the find a rubric functionality is so difficult to use. That would exacerbate the problem of having rubrics with the same name but with (1) and (2) at the end.

This year, Canvas did add the ability to change the dates on graded assignments all on a single page. If you go the assignments page and click on the options (three vertical dots), there is a "Edit Assignment Dates" option. Prior to that, the most circulated solution was a Google Sheet I wrote that allowed editing the dates. It also allowed some other functionality besides just changing dates.

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Thanks so much for your quick responses - this community rocks! I tried to install the "canhancement" but I'm not sure what I'm doing and I don't think it worked, but I'll mess with it again and see if I can figure it out. I can't believe I missed the assignment bulk-update feature tho - that will be a lifesaver! Wish I'd thought to use the word 'bulk' when I searched for this answer before the semester started lol!