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Finding Rubrics

Finding Rubrics


When a teacher wants to add a rubric to an assignment, they currently have to search through all of their courses to find the right one. This may require them to scroll down a long list before they find the right course. While it is helpful that rubrics are available to use from other courses without importing them, it would be more efficient to have two options on a menu or tabs:

1) Rubrics from this course (Default view)

2) Rubrics from other courses

This would allow teachers to add rubrics from the most likely place and also allow them to search through their other courses if they wanted.

New Member

I like your idea Christopher Casey. Even adding a 3rd option to the original suggestion so the choices are

1. From this course

2. From all my courses (where "my" = the same teacher value)

3. All courses

Community Champion

Thanks to everyone who provided feedback on where the user script should go. I've finished it, tested it on Firefox, Chrome, and Safari, and deemed it good enough for release. That is, it works for me and hopefully it will for other people, too.

Here's the announcement and installation instructions: 

In addition to putting the current course at the top, it also allows you to sort by multiple keys and so you can sort by name first and then by term or term first and then by name, or by other orders like the full course name using a custom sort. It adds a title attribute so that the full name of the course shows up when you hover over a link. It also allows you to hide certain information, like courses that ended more than X days ago or courses that belong to a term with no end specified (this is the Default Term for us and contains things that aren't really used for teaching courses). Everything is configurable except for the moving of the current course to the top.

If you find any problems with it, please leave the comments on the other page.

New Member

Very impressive work! Trying it out right now. Thank you  @James . 

Community Participant

I would like to see a default rubric on the course level.  Probably about 90% if all my assignments use the same rubric. I hate having to assign the same rubric to all of them.  Have a default that can be changed.

Community Participant

I would like to see the default course be the current course. That seems like the logical design. Currently, an instructor might have a long list of courses with the same title and no way to tell which one is which.

Find a Rubric window showing a long list of EDUC-1300 courses.

Coach Emeritus

A00274597‌, agreed! For now I'd definitely check out this work around - - it will do exactly what you are wanting. 🙂

Community Contributor

Coming late to this conversation, but broadly (aggravatedly) in support of anything that makes the rubric management process better, here's the feature request that I just wrote related to this, that got archived because this exists:

So, right now, when you go to import a rubric, you get a scrambled list of all the other courses (listed by course code, btw) you've ever taught that have rubrics associated with them:

235430_Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 2.33.11 PM.png

When I raised this issue to support, they said "The find a rubric page within Canvas is not designed with a discernible sorting design. The find a rubric page was designed to grab all rubrics tied to enrollments for a teacher in all of their courses and load them as they are located. This is why you will be seeing the rubrics list of courses in this order."

I know that others have faced this problem in the past: Sorting the Find a Rubric dialog

And I've written a hack that's running on our Canvas instance: (it has to do some jQuery gyrations to get itself bound and unbound appropriately).

tl;dr: The course list in the "Find a Rubric" dialog should be sorted in some reasonable manner. 

I suggest employing a sort similar to that discussed around terms, here:‌ — active first, alphabetically, probably with the active course on top, followed by older courses ordered by term or course date.


I would like to add it would also be nice to be easier to manage them too. I have an instructor who would like to delete old ones but has to do it one at a time. not very user friendly. 

Community Participant

That's the same issue we have. We don't know which HIST-1301 course we're looking for. The longer we use Canvas, the longer the list of courses gets and the more difficult to find the rubric we're looking for.

I'd like to see the rubrics listed default to the current course and then also have some way of distinguishing the courses from one another.

Community Participant

Having some sort of terms here would be critical for us as well. Our system is setup to allow them access to past courses for a whole year after they are done teaching it. So often times instructors will have access to 3 "Math 200 A"s with no clear indication as to which is which. It's even more confusing because find a rubric dialog box currently order the courses seemingly arbitrarily (Math 200 ZA followed by Math 200 A (past semester) followed by Math 107 A followed by Math 200 A (current semester)


Defaulting the "Find a Rubric" box to the current course just seems like good practice. What  @James ‌ has done would largely address this concern if released at a system wide basis. Not all instructors are receptive to the idea of installing greasemonkey scripts on their browser.

New Member

Something has to change.  I have taught so many courses and even when I build a new rubric in a course that I normally roll forward to the next semester, I have to search through a giant stream of courses that appear to be random.  I am sure they aren't but just the fact it takes so long to find a rubric I just built is so frustrating.  

I like the "from this course" option for sure. #manage rubrics

New Member

I am so frustrated trying to find a rubric I build as I roll a class forward.  It doesn't roll with the class but stays with the original class that it was built in.  When I click "Manage Rubrics" it takes me to a giant random list of classes that I have taught back to 1602 and just drives me knuts because there isn't an easy way to search for something you may have just altered.  So frustrating and I haven't found any way to make it simpler.  I strongly support any efforts to help with this problem. #rubric issue

I hope this is something that is in the works... Thanks for my short, "day-before-classes-start" venting... Jim

Finding a rubric you just built and adding it to the next assignment is a nightmare and takes forever to find when you go to Manage Rubrics.  That takes you to a giant random list of classes that may or may not have the exact rubric you are looking for.  Rolling the rubrics forward doesn't work either if you make one little change.  It is so frustrating....

Coach Emeritus

While it would be great if Canvas did something about the problem, until then this free Canvancement fixes the issue -

Community Champion

This could be thought of in the same line as having a central repository for question banks, quizzes, assignments, pages, etc. . .     

Each designer or teacher should have a central repository for content so copying and duplicating could be much more flexible.   And why not include rubrics?    I too have had to search for rubrics and it can take a while to find the correct one.

New Member

I had similar comment from our faculty.

Hi Thiha,

Not sure who I should send this to, but I am currently trying to add rubrics to assignments in one of my classes.  In order to use an existing rubric I have to choose Find a Rubric (which ironically uses a magnifying glass icon).  There is no text based search option, rather a Find Existing Rubric window opens up.  

Now I want to use the same rubric for all 15 assignments in my class.  However when I go to the Find Existing Rubric window, the course and its rubrics aren't at the top of the list.  Rather I have to scroll through a list of all my canvas courses - the list isn't in alphabetical or chronological order and there is no text based searched option or way to change the ordering of the courses. Instead I have to literally scroll through the entire list of courses until I find the one I am currently working in, and for some reason the course I am working on appears in different places in the list each time.  One time it showed up second in the list, but other times it has appeared in the middle and another time closer to the end.

Once I finally find and select the course I am trying to find I am  given a list of the 3 different rubrics that I have generated for the course.  I choose my rubric from the list, and because it has more than 3 criteria the Use this Rubric button isn't visible. If I go to scroll, it only scrolls down the frame for the rubric criteria, I now see the last criteria but not the Use this Rubric button.  In order to see the button I now have to drag the slider (which the other 2 frames are nested inside of) on the far right of the window in order to make the rubric criteria button visible.

Finally I hit the Use this Rubric button, and if I forget to hit the button and accidentally close the window, then I have to start the search all over.  There is no warning button saying you haven't selected any rubrics, or perhaps a pop-up window that says do you want to use the selected rubric.  

It is pretty obvious to me that who ever developed this feature was using a small list of courses and never even bothered to add more than the one single criteria to a rubric.

I think it is more than reasonable to ask the developers of Canvas to fix this issue. It is poor design that is causing hundreds of combined hours of wasted time with AACC faculty searching for their rubrics using this sub par interface and architecture.



Community Participant

I agree, the rubric finder is pretty “clunky”.

Community Member

Just had one of our power users email me about this very topic.  We've been using Canvas since 2012 and the list of courses to sift through is endless to find a rubric.  This really must be driving people crazy because the teacher that reported it to me never complains about anything.  Hope this gets implemented soon.  There are more and more places in Canvas that we are seeing this type of problem--just took us a few years and thousands of classes later to get there. Smiley Happy

Community Champion

I think sorting should pretty much always be alphabetical.  

Community Champion

It would be great to have a rubrics area, just like we have a file area.   We could sort, delete, rename, etc. 

That way we could control the list of rubrics through which to sort, much like we can control which courses appear in our dashboard.

New Member

This is super, super huge.  All my rubrics from every class (past and present) are available, and if I accidentally import the wrong one (Reading Rubrics from 8S instead of 8F, for example), my desired outcome may not be there, OR I create a whole new set of outcomes, which really screws up my mastery view.