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Grading and Giving Feedback on an Essay/Report Assignment


Not the info you need? See the Essay/Report Assignment homepage for links to more help on creating and grading Essay/Report Assignments.

Even though you can create and edit the rubric on the Create Rubric page, you can only grade students' work from the grading interface (Grade Submissions, left sidebar > Open a submission). In the grading interface though, you will still have a list view of the rubric (open by default) as well as the ability to open a grid view rubric and grade from there instead.

This guide will give you some pointers and how-to steps for using both of these methods to grade your Essay/Report Assignments and walk you through how to leave feedback and reusable comments on specific sections of a student's submission.

Can students see the rubric before grades are published? No. As with other Gradescope assignments, students cannot see an Essay/Report Assignment's rubric before you publish grades, but that functionality is coming soon for this assignment type.

Grading essays via the grid view rubric

  1. To grade with your rubric in a grid, you need to be in the grading interface. To get to the grading interface open the assignment, click Grade Submissions (left sidebar), and then open a submission.
    Can I grade from the Create Rubric page? No, you can only grade in the grading interface. You can however edit your rubric on the Create Rubric page and those changes will carry over into the grading interface automatically.
  2. In the right panel of the grading interface, click the Grid View link to view your rubric as a grid in a separate window.
  3. Then, in the grid window, click the relevant rubric items to apply them to the student's submission. Their score will be updated accordingly.
  4. If you need to edit your rubric while in this window, click Edit Rubric (top of the grid window). Click inside the relevant cells and rework the content as needed. You can add images and format your text using Markdown or LaTeX. Except for in the header row and the first column (both gray) you can use the arrows in the rows and columns to move them up or down (rows) and left or right (columns). You can click the New Metric button again to add a separate grid with a different number of rows and columns. You can also click New Rubric Item to add a single detached rubric cell. Changes made here will auto-populate on the Create Rubric page too.
  5. Click Next Ungraded at the bottom of the grid window to grade the next student's work in this window.
    Can students view the rubric as a grid? No. Remember that students cannot see the rubric until after you publish grades. Once you do publish grades, students will only be able to view the rubric vertically as a list along with their awarded points on the View Submissions page.

Grading essays with the rubric as a list

If you'd like to, you can grade Essay/Report Assignments the way most other Gradescope assignments are graded and simply click on rubric items in the vertical list rubric in the grading interface. To learn the basics of grading this way, check out the Grading Submissions article.

Remember though that in other Gradescope assignments, you only see rubric items in the grading interface that pertain to the question you're currently grading. When you create an Essay/Report Assignment, you do not designate specific questions and you make one rubric for the entire assignment. That means that in the grading interface of an Essay/Report Assignment, you will see all the rubric items and rubric item groups you created for the entire assignment along the right side of your screen, and you will take the entire submission into account as you apply rubric items to each student's work.


Giving feedback and reusing comments

  1. With a student's submission open in the grading interface, use your cursor to highlight the section you'd like to comment on. A small text box with Rubric and Comments tabs in it will appear. The Rubric tab will be open by default.
  2. To link the highlighted text to a rubric item/rubric item group, scroll down through the text box and click the relevant rubric item or group. To attach a comment to the highlighted text instead, click the Comments tab in the text box and type your message.
  3. You can add one rubric group/item and one comment per highlight. If you want to link a rubric item and add a comment to that same highlighted text, click the highlighted text again. This will bring the text box back up. Click your remaining option in the text box (either Link Rubric Item or Add Comment).
  4. To reuse a comment you added, highlight a new section in the student's submission. When the text box appears, click the Comments tab. Your previous comments will be listed. Click a comment to reuse it. If a reused comment had a linked rubric group/item, the rubric group/item will also be linked to this newly highlighted section.
  5. To remove a rubric group/item attached to a comment, double-click the attached rubric group/item on the student's submission. Then click the Clear Rubric Item option when it appears below the rubric group/item. To remove a comment attached to a rubric group/item, double-click the attached comment. Put your cursor in the comment's text box and delete the content. Press the Enter or Return key on your keyboard.
    If you changed your rubric to "select many" in your rubric settings, when you link a rubric item to a portion of highlighted text or attach it to a comment, that rubric item will be applied to the student's submission. The inverse is also true (e.g., unlinking or deleting a rubric item from highlighted text will unapply it).

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