Embarking on a Journey of Transformation: Upcoming Rubrics Redesign



In the symphony of education, your voices have been the guiding notes. The Rubrics functionality within Canvas LMS has been a conversation close to our hearts, stirred by your valuable insights. Delighted to announce that we are currently making progress on a transformative endeavor, reimagining the rubric experience.  

A Vision of Seamlessness

A Canvas where interacting with rubrics will be intuitive and user-friendly. We will soon bid farewell to the current rubrics interface, ushering in an era where assessing student work is seamless. 

Empowering Assessments

Our journey will extend beyond aesthetics. We will soon be introducing a palette of features, each of them intended to add depth to your assessments. More than just a facelift, this will be about amplifying the impact of your feedback, nurturing growth.

Efficiency at its Core

In the heart of this redesign lies a commitment to efficiency. A grading process that flows effortlessly, allowing you to focus on the essence - the growth of your students.

A Community-Driven Transformation

This overhaul is not solitary; it's a culmination of your relentless feedback. We won't keep you waiting indefinitely; the redesign will unfold in phases, absorbing your input for future iterations. Together, we're shaping Canvas Rubrics into a platform with additional features and an even better user experience for students and instructors. 

Unveiling the Future - Phase 1 

Rubric Creation and Management:

The current design, we understand, isn’t the most intuitive. We will be introducing the Rubric Criteria Builder. We will preserve existing features while introducing a spectrum of enhancements:

  • Default Settings for Scored or Unscored Rubric: This feature will empower you to define the nature of your rubric right from the start. Decide whether it will be a scored or unscored rubric, and if needed, alter this setting at the assignment level to adapt to specific grading requirements.
  • Rating Order Display Selection: The ability to customize the way criteria are presented. You will be able to choose between a "Low to High" or "High to Low" order, tailoring it to your preferences and ensuring that the rubric reflects exactly the way you want to evaluate student work.
  • Mapping of Scale or Levels to Criteria: This functionality will provide a whole new dimension to assessment. You will have the capability to precisely align scales or levels with specific criteria, offering a more nuanced and targeted evaluation process. The scale can be represented by a letter, numeric or an emoji. For instance, a delightful emoji or a numeric 1 or the letter A, to represent the criteria with the highest rating. 
  • Drag and Drop for Rating Order or Criterion Arrangement: A seamless process where you will be able to effortlessly rearrange both the rating order and the criterion arrangement, ensuring that your rubric is structured exactly the way you envision it.
  • Editing Points When Creating a Rubric from an Outcome: This feature will streamline your workflow. When you're creating a rubric based on a specific outcome, you will have the flexibility to fine-tune the points. It's all about making the process smoother and more efficient.
  • Copying or Duplicating Criteria: A tool that will allow you to duplicate criteria with ease. This function will simplify the process of creating a criterion, one at a time.  
  • Display Modes: Traditional, Horizontal & Vertical: You will have the ability to choose how you view your rubric. Whether you prefer the traditional layout or a horizontal or vertical display, this functionality will ensure that you have the view that resonates with you.
  • Preview Before Publication: This will be your final checkpoint. You will have the ability to review your rubric to ensure it's just right before it goes live. It's like proofreading a document, but for your assessment criteria.
  • Archiving and Drafting Rubrics: The option to archive rubrics for future use or to restrict their use. Plus, the ability to save the rubric as a draft which will allow you to seamlessly continue your work, even if you need to step away momentarily. 


The Speedgrader Experience

With the improved rubrics, we envision the Speedgrader experience to be further enhanced. Here's a glimpse of what awaits:

  • Display Mode Selector: This will allow you to adjust your view to match your unique grading style. You will be able to select between a vertical,  horizontal or traditional view, bringing clarity and focus to your assessment process. 
  • Auto-Save for Uninterrupted Input: A safety and convenience net that will ensure every input, every comment, and every assessment is securely stored, even in the event of unexpected interruptions. This auto-save function will guarantee that your progress is preserved, allowing you to pick up right where you left off. The saved inputs will not be visible to the students until you submit the grades for students to view. 
  • Enhanced Anonymity Option: The new rubrics will cater to the much requested feature of being “truly” anonymous, giving the flexibility to extend anonymity while commenting and providing feedback. With the Anonymous Grading option turned on, you will have the anonymous rubric option available for selection, which will hide the grader information while commenting on an assignment. 


Student Self-Assessments: 

Empowering students is at the core. According to educational research by John Hattie, self-assessment has the highest effect size in student growth and achievement. Also, self-reflection allows students to really focus on what they know and don't know and if they are meeting the expectations of the learning opportunity. We're thrilled to announce that the self-assessment option for students is coming to Canvas LMS! 

The flexibility enjoyed by instructors with SpeedGrader will be extended to students. This means they'll have an experience akin to yours as an instructor. Student assessments can be concealed until grading completion, affording you the choice of disclosure.They will also engage with and respond to instructor feedback and comments.


A preview of upcoming phases - What to expect in Phase 2 and Beyond:

  • Alignment with an Outcome: This function will offer the best of both worlds. You will be able to create and customize all criterion details while referencing an existing outcome. It's about combining customization with the power of established outcomes for a tailored assessment approach. The current functionality to add an outcome as a criterion will remain unchanged. 
  • Enhanced Content Editor Capabilities with RCE-Lite: A Rich Content Editor tool for crafting comments that will go beyond the surface. With upgraded capabilities, you will be able to articulate your feedback in a way that is not only constructive but also clear, expressive, and tailored to the specific needs of each student. 
  • Download Your Rubric: This file will be a valuable resource for both you and your students, providing a holistic view of the assessment. Initially to be available in PDF format, future releases will introduce the option to download in CSV or XML formats.
  • Rubric Import: This feature will help you seamlessly import your rubrics from CSV or XML files, streamlining the process and saving time.
  • Multiple Rubrics for your assessments: Empowering educators with the ability to associate multiple rubrics with a single assessment. Whether it's for internal grading, student self-evaluation, or peer reviews, this feature will offer flexibility and adaptability in assessment methods.
  • Scheduled Feedback Release: You will be able to take control of when your feedback becomes visible to students with a comment scheduler, allowing for timely and structured communication. For instance, the instructor will be able to make the comments available to students at an earlier time before the grades are posted. 
  • Criteria Repository: You will be able to store your criteria in the bank for future use, with the flexibility to modify them as needed.

We are implementing an automated migration process to transition all accounts to the new rubric system. Initially, both old and new rubrics will coexist. Subsequently, we will phase out the current Rubric system

When to expect Phase 1 Release? 

We are diligently progressing towards the scheduled April 2024 launch of Rubrics Phase 1. Details regarding subsequent phase releases will follow. 


Visual Teasers: Offering you a sneak peek into into the redesign: 

Criteria Builder: 


New Rubric Creation: 





Your Patience, Our Gratitude

We extend our deepest thanks for your patience and unwavering commitment to education. Together, we're committed to delivering a tool that seamlessly aligns with your needs. By early Q2'24, Phase 1 of the new rubric functionality will be in your hands. While not every enhancement may feature in Phase 1, rest assured that subsequent iterations will encompass all functionalities and more.

Thank you for being the cornerstone of the Canvas Community. Your feedback propels us forward, and we are certain that this Rubric Redesign will leave an indelible mark on your educational journey.

Warm Regards, 

Ravi Koll