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  3. Importing Rubrics from a Spreadsheet Into Canvas

Importing Rubrics from a Spreadsheet Into Canvas

Installing & Using the Import Rubrics Tool

Canvas offers the ability to create rubrics offline in a Microsoft Excel file and then import those rubrics into Canvas for use with SpeedGrader.  It’s a fairly simple process, though it does require the installation of some software to get started.

Quick Install Guide

First things first: We recommend that you install all the software that you’ll need. You will need to install Tampermonkey, which is a browser add-on supported in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

  • Click ‘Download’ below the latest stable version, not BETA, for the browser that you are using.
Download Tampermonkey example in Firefox
  • If any of the following pop-ups appear, select “Add extension,” “Install now,” or “+ Add to Firefox” depending on your browser:
Tampermonkey in Chrome
Tampermonkey in Firefox
  • Once the download and installation process is complete, you can verify that Tampermonkey is enabled by clicking on the Tampermonkey icon in the upper right corner of the browser (to the left of the url bar in Safari):
Example of Tampermonkey enabled in Chrome
  • Install the Rubric Importer user script.
  • You will be taken to a new tab and you will be prompted to install the script.  Click Install.
Rubric importer script install screen
  • There will not be any “successfully installed” message, but you should be able to easily see that the script has successfully installed when you try to import your Excel rubric. On the Canvas “Manage Rubrics” page (which can be found by going to your course, clicking ‘Outcomes’, and then clicking ‘Manage Rubrics’ as outlined in the ‘How to Import Your Rubric’ section), if you click the Tampermonkey icon you should see that the Rubric Importer script is toggled to “on”. You will also see an “Import Rubric” button on the page:
Rubric importer script enabled in Tampermonkey
Import Rubric button in Canvas

Creating your Rubric in Excel or Google Sheets

  • Row 1 (the header row) will contain your headers for each column.
  • The first column will contain your grading criteria. The subsequent columns will contain answer criteria. These answer criteria columns can be given specific point values. The import tool will number these columns in a descending order by default, meaning that column 2 will contain the “perfect score” answer criteria and the column furthest to the right will contain the lowest answer criteria point values.
  • Every row underneath the header row will contain your grading criteria.
    Here’s an example of what your rubric should look like:
Grading criteria along the left column of the sheet and point values for each set of answer criteria along subsequent columns

Using Excel

  • If you’re using Excel, go to File > Save As… and save your rubric file as a “Tab Delimited” file format.
Saving as a tab delimited file in Excel

Using Google Sheets

  • If you’re using Google Sheets, go to File > Download as > Tab Separated Values (.tsv)
Saving as Tab-separated values in Google Sheets

How to Import Your Rubric

  • Navigate to your canvas course.
  • Click the Outcomes link on the Course Navigation Menu that displays on the left-hand side of your course.
  • Click the ‘Manage Rubrics’ button at the top right of the outcomes screen.
Manage rubrics button in Canvas
  • Click the Import Rubric button at the top right of the screen.
Import rubric button in Canvas
  • Type in your rubric title.
  • Copy and paste your Rubric from your Excel file.
  • Click ‘Create’.
    Please note: your rubric data must be in a “Tab Delimited” or “Tab Separated Values” file format, as described in the Creating your Rubric in Excel or Google Sheets section, for this to be successful.
Import rubric dialogue screen in Canvas

This tool and process was adapted from Florida State University

Updated on March 6, 2019

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