Part 11 – Spring 2020 Labs

221 Practical Applications for Rubrics – 03.05.2020

On March 5, 2020, participants of the Active Teaching Lab discussed strategies and best practices for designing and editing rubrics within Canvas, as well as connecting them with its “Outcomes” feature.


  • Assess what’s important: Use learning outcomes and a few acceptable measures to assess mastery. Measure what learners need to show, NOT how they show it (unless the format is important). Is explaining a concept well important? Or do they need to explain it in Times New Roman? The fewer unneeded constraints you assess, the more focus can be on content.
  • Use the Developing Rubrics guide from the TeachOnline@UW program to help you more clearly articulate expectations.
  • Build rubrics outside of Canvas: Rubric-building and editing in Canvas is currently offputtingly-clunky. Build in Google or Excel then move to Canvas.
  • Share with students: Give rubrics to students with assignments and/or involve them in rubric creation or adaptation. After, involve them in identifying what worked, what was missing, and what was confusing. Revise accordingly!

To learn more and discover new resources, visit the session’s activity sheet.



The Active Teaching Lab is a Faculty Engagement program with sessions held on Thursdays from 1:00-2:00pm and Fridays from 8:30-9:45am in the Middleton Building (1305 Linden Dr.), room 120. 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.

Share This Book