Part 6: Fall 2017 Labs

87 Rubrics II with Karla Ausderau – 11.17.2017

The November 17, 2017 Active Teaching Lab explored Canvas Rubrics. Karla Ausderau shared how to improve student learning with rubrics. 

Rubrics help focus student efforts as they complete assignments, and provide easy, specific instructional feedback that reinforces learning goals.


  • Use analytic rubrics (see examples of rubric types here) to provide directed, specific feedback and also make grading easier.
  • Think of a rubric as a working document, not a locked tool. Work to continuously align rubrics with course objectives and materials to help students understand why they’re being asked to do what they need to do in the course.
  • Begin a course with a scavenger hunt in which students connect objectives to rubrics.
  • Start out with a single-point rubric. Then, as you gain experience with it, increase specificity incrementally to develop it into an analytic rubric.
  • Strive toward a conceptual rubric that is flexible enough to reuse across assignments and fit a variety of formats.

Check out the session’s activity sheet for more tips and tricks on using rubrics in Canvas.

Active Teaching Labs are held Fridays from 8:30-9:45am (and every other Thursday from 1-2pm, see events calendar for dates) in room 120, Middleton Building. Check out upcoming labs or read recaps from past labs. To stay informed about upcoming Labs, sign up for regular announcements by sending an email to

Watch Karla’s story:



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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