Part 8: Fall 2018 Labs

130 Canvas Rubrics – 09.27.2018

How do we know students are learning what they need to? How do we help them reach learning goals instead of missing the mark? Canvas Rubrics serve as a useful tool to set expectations, guide students through the learning process, streamline grading, provide feedback, and inform teaching. At the September 27, 2018 Active Teaching Lab, participants shared rubric strategies that work (and haven’t worked) for them and best practices for adapting and applying those strategies to various settings. For more information on Canvas Rubrics, visit the session’s activity sheet


  • Plan rubrics in Excel or Google Sheets before moving them into Canvas to create an artifact that can translate across learning management systems. Then use the Rubric Importer tool to add the rubric to Canvas.
  • Use the “save this comment for reuse” option in Canvas Rubrics to minimize the monotony of providing the same feedback to multiple students (and consider addressing and reviewing sticking points with the class as a whole afterwards).
  • Take advantage of Rubric integration with SpeedGrader to streamline grading.
  • Put the responsibility of giving feedback on the students using peer review rubrics. Providing a rubric for the peer review process helps students to provide more targeted, meaningful feedback to peers, identify weaknesses in their own work, and improve the quality of the final product.
  • Set expectations for discussions with a rubric. Doing so lets students know what does (and does not) comprise a thoughtful response and helps to keep the conversation dynamic and engaging.


The Active Teaching Lab is a Faculty Engagement program with sessions held on Thursdays from 1:00-2:00pm (room 302) and Fridays from 8:30-9:45am (room 120) in the Middleton Building (1305 Linden Dr.) during fall 2018. Check out upcoming Labs or read the recaps from past Labs. We build interdisciplinary conversations that are more emergent than a presenter and more dynamic than a panel — a conversation with colleagues sharing challenges, solutions, and experiments on topics selected by a variety of stakeholders.

Sign up for regular Lab announcements by sending an email to


Active Teaching Lab eJournal Copyright © 2016 by DoIT Academic Technology and the UW-Madison Teaching Academy; Jennifer Hornbaker; John Martin; Julie Johnson; Karin Spader; Margaret Merrill; Margaret Murphy; and Jeffrey Thomas. All Rights Reserved.

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