Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

CTE - Teaching Writing

This guide provides resources and best practices on teaching writing, creating writing prompts and rubrics, and providing feedback on student writing.


A rubric is a grading tool that lays out the specific expectations for an activity. Rubrics can be built in Blackboard and attached to any graded activity or a column in the Grade Center.   


You will want to use rubrics for

  • Grading: rubrics can be used to synthesize an overall score on a graded activity.
  • Communication: rubrics communicate goals, intentions, and expectations.
  • Critical Thinking: rubrics can contribute to students’ thinking, reasoning, and judging skills.
  • Productivity: rubrics can make grading more efficient. 


There are three basic parts of a rubric:


Levels of achievement

This is the scale used to measure how well or how poorly any given task has been performed. These can be set in Blackboard by points, point range, percentage, and percentage range. When Percentage or percentage range is used, criteria can also be weighted.



These are the outlined dimensions of the task. 



Details the expected performance or behavior expected to achieve a certain level.  


Here is a template incorporating these elements: 



Evaluate rubrics based on coverage/organization and clarity

  • Does the rubric cover the right content?
  • Are the criteria well organized?
  • Do the number of levels fit targets and uses?
  • Are the criteria accurately weighted?
  • Are the levels defined well?
  • Are the levels parallel?


Before you borrow a rubric, think about suitability and time.

  • Does the rubric evaluate your specific learning objectives?
  • Was the rubric assigned for the same task and focus as your activity?
  • Is the rubric on-level with your course? (Beware of generic rubrics and rubrics designed for K-12 online)
  • Would the amount of time that it would take to locate and modify a rubric to meet your needs exceed the amount of time it would take to develop one from scratch?


For more information on creating rubrics in Blackboard, visit this link to the Blackboard Help Page on Rubrics.  This page includes information on:

  • Creating a Rubric
  • Editing the Rubric Grid
  • Using Percentage-Based Rubrics
  • Copying and Editing a Rubric
  • Associating a Rubric
  • Managing Associated Rubrics
  • Grading with Rubrics
  • Running a Rubric Evaluation Report



Arter, J. and Chappuis, J. (2006). Creating and Recognizing Quality Rubric (CAR), Portland: Pearson Assessment Training Institute.

Stevens, D. D., & Levi, A. (2013). Introduction to rubrics: An assessment tool to save grading time, convey effective feedback, and promote student learning. Sterling, Va: Stylus Pub.

Turley, E. D., & Gallagher, C. W. (2008). On the uses of rubrics: Reframing the Great Rubric debate. English Journal, 97(4), 87-92.