Using Rubrics to your Advantage

Rather than deal with the ‘discussion’ about late assignments, I allow for them, with an overt penalty listed in the syllabus.

There are 11 ten-point assignments in the course, so remembering who has turned what in, and when, is fully managed by the Assignment Tool. And since it’s only 10 points, every assignment has a rubric attached to it.

I’d rather students do the assignment than not, in the end, and I can be ‘understanding’ by allowing for the late submission. I do have a “last submission date” where I do not take assignments after that date, but during the semester, I’m pretty lenient.

In an effort to keep everyone more-or-less on time, I have penalties listed right in the syllabus. Assignments submitted 2 days late get a 2 point penalty and over 2 days late, it’s a 6 point penalty.

But, heck, when you’re otherwise struggling, 4 points is better than 0!

But as I’m typing “minor penalty for late submission” in the feedback box for the bazillionth time, it finally hits me. I can put that into the rubric!


The rubric tool will take negative numbers, as long as you also have a 0 value in the row.

When an assignment is turned in on time, I can simply click the “0 Points” box and it’s all set. When it’s late, I click the appropriate penalty. The penalty is applied and message sent, right in the rubric.


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