Rubric without points

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas




We would like to use rubric without having to put in points against each line.


One of the more difficult issues we have is that rubrics in Canvas need a mark against them, even if they are not tied directly to the final mark and do not have a total. In my university, academics use rubrics only as an overall indicator of the strengths and weaknesses of work. If we put marks against them, we find the student may focus on the score rather than the on what is being communicated, and in any case the mark on the rubric has no meaning.


Attached is a description of the simple change we would like

see in Canvas



Comments from Instructure

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Community Team
Community Team


Thank you for your Feature Idea submission.  We wanted to call your attention to   which was submitted in a different voting period.  It may contain valuable discussion and insight as this discussion moves through the voting process.

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Community Coach
Community Coach

For reference, please see my (now archived) Feature Idea here.  Hopefully this idea will get more votes this time.

Community Novice

Noted. It seems identical. I have suggested Canvas co-ordinates merging the two as it seems your proposal will be re-opened on the 16th Feb.

Thanks, Mark

Community Team
Community Team

Hi  @mark_soole ​

You are correct, the two ideas are a match!  In the feature idea process that we use we do not merge feature ideas.  Chris's idea was excellent, but it did not make the 100 vote threshold in the 3 months that it was open.  We recognize that user priorities change over time, which is why we encourage users to resubmit an idea when they think the time is right!

You can find more about this process in How does the voting process work for feature ideas?

Community Contributor

This idea will work very well for us as we run on a "competent / not yet competent" (which competent is 100%) grading system. This can be quite lengthy if you have 10-15 rubric points and the students only miss out on one point.

Community Participant

Our organisation would also like the competent / not yet competent. We already have students who are confused by the point system that we don't even use and have only been using Canvas since the end of January this year.

Community Champion

A number of faculty use letter grades for their assignments, and creating a rubric without points would help in this scenario as well.  It would allow the rubric to match with the grading for the assignment, decreasing confusion.  Currently, faculty either have to convert all the letters to a proportional amount of the grade or set up the rubric with every category worth zero points.  Otherwise, students get confused.


I'd just like to add further input. A lot of schools might want to have the point values on the "back end" for the teacher to see (so that they can more easily track where students are at), but have the points hidden for the students for the reasons everyone has stated. I think this would work great if the points in rubric criteria can be hidden from students as an option when the rubric is created for the assignment, along with the option to have individual rubric criteria not be used in calculating point totals for the assignment (like is currently possible when using outcomes in rubrics, without necessarily having to use outcomes).

Community Novice

I would like to echo Paul's sentiments. This would be an essential upgrade for our Junior School and Senior School; as it would remove the one barrier that we have in using rubrics. For us attaching marks to a rubric contradicts the very point of a rubric. The rubric is to make success criteria explicit and learning visible. If the marks can be (at least) hidden from students that would create a massive buy-in for my Junior School and Senior School staff. Senior school are mandated to report against state based performance standards - this is complicated by the inclusion of the numerical value attached.

Community Novice

Yes, in Vocational Education and Training it is not generally useful to provide points for student work, as we are focussed on building competence in a task. Competent or not yet competent is a useful distinction for us. Points can actually mislead the student, who may infer from their points that they are 'passing' and yet still be 'not-yet competent'.

I agree Paul that the points could still be useful as an option for teachers.