D2L - Creating a Rubric

Last Updated: 11/22/2017
Back to: D2L - Grades
One Column
Two Column
This tutorial is operating system independent.


The following documentation demonstrates how to create a rubric in Desire2Learn. Rubrics can be used to guide grading and to communicate to students what is expected on an assignment. This tutorial shows how to create a rubric independent of an existing D2L dropbox assignment, quiz, or discussion.

To associate a rubrics with an dropbox assignment, quiz or discussion, click the [Create Rubric in New Window] link while creating the new graded item or editing an existing one. If you choose to do this, start at step 4 of the instructions that follow.

Important Note

If you would like to attach a Rubric to a Discussion item, make sure the Competencies box is checked in the Advanced Availability section of the Properties tab.

Step 1

Log into your course and click the Edit Course link on the navigation bar.

Step 2

Click on Rubrics.

Step 3

Click New Rubric.

Step 4

Enter a rubric title in the Name: field and, if you would like, a description.

Step 5

Choose the type of Rubric that you would like to use, Analytic or Holistic.

Analytic Rubrics

Most rubrics are analytic. An analytic rubric breaks performance into multiple criteria. You assess each criterion separately, resulting in an overall assessment score.

Holistic Rubrics

Holistic rubrics do not break performance into separate criteria. Performance is assessed holistically, so that you consider several different criteria, but make only one overall assessment.

Step 6

Choose the Number of Levels and the Number of Criteria you would like to have for your rubric.

Step 7

Choose your Scoring Method:

Text Only

Performance levels are expressed using only text. For example, three performance levels for a rubric could be Poor, Good, and Excellent.


Similar to Text Only, but includes points to assess performance. For example, three performance levels for a rubric could be Poor (0 points), Good (75 points), and Excellent (125 points).

Custom Points

This scoring method can be used only for Analytic type rubrics.

The Custom Points scoring method is similar to the Points scoring method, but you can customize the points given for each criterion (row). For example, if performance levels are "Poor", "Good", and "Excellent", then the criterion "Spelling and Grammar" could be worth 0 points, 10 points, and 20 points for each level, but the criterion "Expression" could be worth 0 points, 30 points, and 60 points, making it worth 3 times the points for "Spelling and Grammar".


Percentages can be used only for Holistic type rubrics.

Percentages is similar to Points, but measures performance in percentages instead of points

A rubric using the "Percentages" can be automatically assessed based on the score of its associated item (such as a grade item).

Step 8

Click on the Levels and Criterion tab.

*Note: If you would like to attach a Rubric to a Discussion item, make sure the Competencies box is checked in the Advanced Availability section.

Step 9

From the Criterion 1 drop-down menu select the Edit Criterion option.

Step 10

Add a name to this criterion in the Criterion Name: text field.

Step 11

Add a Description at each criterion level, as well as Feedback if you wish.

Step 12

Click Save and repeat steps 10-12 for the other criterion.

Step 13

In the Criteria drop-down menu select Edit Criteria Group.

Step 14

Enter the name of the criteria as a whole, as well as the name of each level of assessment (ex. Excellent - Poor).

Step 15

When finished, click Save.

Step 16

In the Overall drop-down menu, select the Edit Levels option.

Step 17

Give a name for each performance level and a minimum score to achieve for each level.

Step 18

Give a description and feedback if you care to, then click Save.

Step 19

Levels and criteria can be added to the rubric, as well as rearranged by using the options right above the rubric.

Step 20

To be able to assign the rubric to any assessment it must first be Published. To publish your rubric go back into the Properties tab and select Published from the Status drop-down menu.

*Note: Once a rubric is published it cannot be edited so be sure everything is correct.

Step 21

Click Save and your rubric will be ready for use. When creating an assessment simply click the Add Rubric button and select the rubric from the rubric list.