Using Rubrics to Grade Discussions

While using the D2L electronic rubrics to assess Dropbox submissions is a fairly easy process, due to a design flaw in D2L’s software, adding a rubric to a graded discussion takes some extra steps.

How Not to Do It

When setting up the assessment options for your discussion activity, you may notice the option to add a rubric:

discussion rubrics 1

If you do add a rubric using this option, you’ll even see a link to launch and fill out a rubric for each student, when the time comes to grade their posts:

discussion rubrics 2

However, if you fill out the rubrics on this page, copies of the completed rubrics will never be sent to the students, even when you check “Publish to Grades”!

This is an error on Desire2Learn’s part, and is widely considered to be a bug in their software.

Discussion Rubrics – The Proper Way

To make discussion rubrics work, we don’t attach the rubric on the Assessment tab. Rather, we go to the Grades tool, find the grade item for the discussion in the list of grades, and attach it there.

1) Click Grades

2) Click Manage Grades

3) Locate the grade item in the list, then click it’s title

4) Mid-way down the page, click Add Rubric, then choose the rubric used to grade discussions

Discussion Rubric 4

Grading the Discussions

To use a rubric while grading discussions, we view and assess the students posts not from the Discussions tool, but rather in the gradebook itself.

1) Click on Grades

2) In the grade sheet, locate the grade item. Click the arrow in the column heading, then click Grade All

discussion rubrics 4

3) The next screen will list for you all of the students in the course:

discussion rubrics 6

For each student…

Click the icon under the Submission column to view their posts, record a score, and type written feedback

Click the icon under the Assessment column to view and fill out the rubric in a new window.

Using this method, each student will have a link to the completed rubric on their Grades screen, under the [Assessment Details] link:

discussion rubrics 7


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