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 


Community Coach
Community Coach

This is exciting news, @RaviKoll, and I see that some of the features requested by users will be part of the rubric redesign. Ubiquitous RCE is something that lots of us are interested in, and your blog post mentions "RCE-lite." Will the complete RCE eventually be included (and in the SpeedGrader too)?

Community Coach
Community Coach

Sounds like there are lots of exciting developments coming to Canvas next year! 🎉

The availability of Rich Content Editor (RCE) features within Speedgrader could open up numerous possibilities. I can envision various scenarios, such as seamlessly linking back to or embedding specific course content in feedback. The potential enhancements, that the rubrics changes could bring, to peer reviews and self-assessment processes are noteworthy.

Enabling discourse around feedback could significantly enrich the overall feedback experience, although it's important that Instructure consider providing an option to disable this feature for those who prefer more control,  this would be especially pertinent in courses with large cohorts of students were maintaining a discourse may be unfeasible.

Community Coach
Community Coach

Student Self Review - Brilliant news and long overdue

Multiple Rubrics - Lots of benefits for having one rubric for Outcomes to recognise transferrable skills/badges whilst leaving the other for academic feedback

RCE/Emoju Rating - Great way to introduce peer assessment to younger students - would love to have images. Hopefully the RCE extends to being able to use formatting within the rubric eg bullet points/bold in the Criteriion section?

Please hopefully sort out the rather absurd Range feature rubric with all those math symbols 

Community Participant

I LOVE the idea of students finally being about to do a student self-review - this is a feature I have wanted for students in Canvas ever since I first used rubrics! So excited to see these updates!

Community Contributor

This is great news! A few notes:

1. Echoing the excitement for RCE to come to the speedgrader. We have many instructors who (e.g.) want to correct how a student should format a citation, but are unable to do so because they can only use plaintext.

2. I hope there are plans to integrate student self-assessments into the grading process to give instructors the ability to require them as part of the grade, and easily track which students have and have not completed them. (This could lay the groundwork for grading based on completion of peer reviews).

3. I hope you'll consider adding the ability to link a rubric to a quiz or a quiz question. Many of our instructors have teams of readers grading essay questions where the consistency afforded by a rubric would be greatly beneficial.

Very happy to hear about the planned ability to import a rubric via CSV, as well as the fix for anonymous rubric grading!

Community Coach
Community Coach
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

@RaviKoll Could you say more about the planned user experience for teachers while the old and new rubric systems coexist?

Community Coach
Community Coach

There is so much good stuff in here!  Excited to see it in production!  And, I'm sure that @James will be interested to see that at least one of his Canvancements - Canvas Enhancements (re-ordering rubric rows) could eventually be retired.  🙂  I'm looking forward to seeing how that one will be implemented...along with multiple rubrics per assignment.  👏👏👏

Community Champion

I've been wondering about the status of this work since Rubrics were selected as a theme for work in that first Ideas voting cycle. Very exciting things described here, I can't wait 'til spring to start test driving! 

Like some others I'm curious about "Enhanced Content Editor Capabilities with RCE-Lite: A Rich Content Editor tool for crafting comments ". Is this referring to Comments in Speedgrader or comments one might compose in the Rubric (ex. rating description)? I do see what looks like bold text in one of the above screenshots, and basic text formatting, bulleting items, etc are features my teachers ask about when composing rubrics. Hoping that's scoped to this project! 

Community Participant

Thanks for this detailed preview @RaviKoll ! I am curious will the new Rubric system work with essay questions in New Quizzes? 

Community Member

These features have been in demand so it is great that the rubric is being redesigned. - sortable rubrics and downloadable rubrics!

A few questions about Outcomes on Rubrics.

  1. With the editing of outcomes on a rubric. How does this interact with the Mastery Gradebook? Specifically, does it change the outcome or just how it is displayed in the rubric? Would be really interested to see this demonstrated once the feature is released.
  2. Is @GideonWilliams correct in interpreting the change that there will be two rubrics options, one for criteria and scoring against the assessment AND a second one for housing the outcomes?
Community Member

Great discussion for development!  Any chance there will be pre-built rubric designs for teachers to work from?

Community Participant

I agree with @Maeve_McCooey, it would be very helpful for the RCE to be available within Speedgrader. We utilize Kaltura as our video platform in Canvas, but face challenges in offering students video feedback due to the Speedgrader comment box supporting only plain text. Presumably, this design choice aims to conserve space in the assignment feedback table, but it significantly restricts teachers’ options.

Community Participant

@RaviKoll It is great that this is being done. Please also see my Idea for negative marking
https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Canvas-Ideas/Rubric-Negative-mark/idi-p/592798 - in addition to everything described on the thread, it also enables student self-assessment.

Community Member

@RaviKoll I have recently started exploring rubrics in Canvas, and I love some of the enhancements mentioned here! I'm excited to see how it turns out!

I recently made a post asking about whether it was possible to scale a rubric's grade to an assignments max points value, so that way I can have all my rubrics all normalized to 100 points (representing the percentage score on the assignment) but have assignments that range in point values to allow for good balance in the course. I didn't see anything that explicitly mentioned a similar feature in this announcement, will something like this be possible in the update?

Link to my post describing what I am looking for in more detail



Community Participant

@RaviKoll - Hi! Thanks for this informative post. I'm in the process of scheduling PD for faculty for the remainder of this semester. Can you answer whether we are on track to get these features in production in April or May? May is probably too late for PD, but after May definitely too late. Thanks so much!

Community Participant

Hi @RaviKoll - a few follow up questions:

1. In Phase 1, you mention "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." The ability to duplicate criteria (w/in a given rubric) already exists. Does this mean that users will actually be able to copy criteria from one rubric to a different one?

2. Clair_Bowmer mentioned "sortable rubrics" in their comment, but I don't see anything in the article about it. Am I just missing it?

Community Explorer

I hope these enhancements will also prioritize making our feedback markups more visible and easy to find than the small font "View Feedback" link on the Submission Details page. It seems like there is space to automatically pop up the document with the feedback markings on that page, or at least a large icon on that page, as well as an icon or comment in the gradebook to tell students that they have direct feedback on their document and show them where to find it.

Very frustrating to spend so much time using all those great tools to mark and comment on essays, only for students to be unable to find it .


@kristen_brownin  The views have been enhanced as part of our ongoing efforts to improve assignments in Canvas LMS. For more details on these enhancements, I encourage you to review the following guide: Assignment Enhancements. If you have any questions or need further clarification, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We're here to help


Thank you for your continued engagement, support and constructive feedback. It's important to emphasize that every comment is being closely observed. While we may not have the capacity to respond to each comment individually in the community, please rest assured that all your feedback is read attentively and given thoughtful consideration. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post with the latest updates on the redesign. 

Community Explorer

That's fantastic news and a welcome development!
The ability to categorize institutional rubrics shared with teachers would be invaluable. At my university, we're initiating a project to establish specialized rubrics within Canvas, following the Louis framework, and make them accessible to all our teachers. While sharing these rubrics is straightforward, organizing them effectively is a challenge. We're missing the ability to categorize the rubrics, which would enable teachers to quickly find those relevant to specific assessment types, such as essays or presentations. The best workaround I've considered is implementing some kind of rubric naming convention. Any insights or recommendations you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Community Participant


Just watched your APAC User Group video and the information about the rubric is great news!

I'm working hard at our school to maintain the use of rubrics but some of the requirements for marking within QLD are simply not features in Canvas rubrics yet.

What we in Queensland really need is the ability to highlight words within the rubric when marking.

Our senior assessments (QCAA) require that we highlight elements of a rubric to indicate how the grade for that part of the rubric was arrived at. In the example below you can see the highlights showing which elements of the rubric were met to arrive at the score for that part of the rubric. 

Having comments for each element is okay, but this does not meet the requirements of QCAA. For this reason, we are unable to use Canvas rubrics for senior assessment at all.

Importantly we also need the ability to download a PDF version of the annotated and marked rubric for submission to QCAA when requested for confirmation.

The whole Queensland system for senior marking is outlined here: QCAA Calculating Results

I would love to be able to move all our marking over to Canvas in this way, but no school in QLD would be able to use Canvas for marking summative tasks until these changes are implemented. (I know it's crazy!)

Example of current marked senior ISMG for Queensland schools.


Community Participant

@RaviKoll Thanks for the update on what to expect with the Rubrics enhancement. Excited to see work in this area of Canvas!

Having just finished the alignment of Account-level Outcomes with rubrics associated with 80 assignments, I am looking forward to some enhanced UI. For example, having to edit the rubric, Find the Outcome (not forgetting to click the tiny little "Do not use outcome criteria for scoring" box), Save te Rubric - THEN edit the Rubric to choose the other rubric feature "use this rubric for assignment grading", took a long time to complete. Would have loved to be able to edit the account level rubric with this udpate, but since they were already applied to the assignments I could not - with out removing the rubric from every assignment. So many steps. 

Not to mention, the process of creating all the rubrics in the first place - - they were very similar, but couldn't find a way to copy and edit an account level rubric. 

And grading using a rubric...excited to see how this is enhanced. Maybe not having to choose "View Rubric" on every student if you have clicked "Use this rubric for assignment grading", but instead it would be open when you went to the next student.