Week 8 – Blackboard Rubrics – 3/2/15

As educators, particularly as educators teaching future educators, we understand the value of feedback when grading assignments. In fact, perhaps there is even more value in the feedback than in the actual grading. This is why so much time is spent meticulously going through a submitted paper marking and putting comments in the margins, all to help the student better understand where he/she went off the mark. Students certainly appreciate the extra time that is taken and learn from this information, but wouldn’t it be nice if Blackboard could give us a little help with this? Perhaps by showing the students what criteria an assignment will be graded based on and then allowing us to use those criteria to grade the assignment and add comments and deduct points directly based on those criteria? Well, we are all in luck, because it does!

Blackboard has provided a Rubric tool that allows the instructor to create rubric for any gradable item in Blackboard that they can choose to let the student see before an item is submitted, and then once submitted, the instructor can just check the boxes as to the level of competency for each category and add comments as necessary that the student can review. Pretty nice. The rubrics can be used in conjunction with the new inline grading system that allows the instructor to mark and comment on a submitted paper directly in Blackboard, again giving better feedback to the students that is easier for the instructor to give.  The following video will demonstrate how to set up rubrics in your Blackboard class:

A rubric can be used for multiple assignments in a class, but cannot be edited once it has been used. So, for example, you can set up a Discussion Board Rubric once, and then use it as a standard for all of the Discussion Boards without having to recreate it. Want to try one out without going through the trouble? Blackboard is compiling some shared Rubrics where you can download some rubrics that have been contributed by other educators and import them into your course at http://www.blackboard.com/Platforms/Learn/Products/Blackboard-Learn/Features/Sharing-Rubrics.aspx Once you get the hang of it, perhaps you may want to share one of the rubrics you have created there. To use one of the rubrics that are listed there, just download the rubric, then in your course, go to Course Tools, choose Rubrics and Import. It will then appear as one of your rubrics and you can then use it as you would any other rubric.

If you haven’t used Blackboard Rubrics before, I encourage you to take at least one of your assignments this semester and try it out. If you need help setting it up, I’m happy to help answer any questions, but in the long run, I think you will find it will help save you a lot of time, and your students will benefit much more from the assignments that use them.

Throughout the semester, the OAA-Instructional Technology Team will be offering Professional Development opportunities. For more information on these opportunities, please visit the COE Professional Development website. To register for any professional development sessions, please use Cornerstone.