Uploading an Excel rubric to Turnitin

The following article discusses uploading a Microsoft Excel file into the Turnitin rubric manager. This process provides a more efficient way to develop a rubric in Turnitin.

Rubrics guidance

The following article reflects the guidance provided in the Recommendations and guidance for writing rubrics article. You should be familiar with this article before you continue.

Edit an Excel Rubric Template

The first step in this process is developing a Microsoft Excel rubric. Using an Excel rubric template can speed up this process and ensure you have the appropriate rubric rows and columns.

Excel rubric template

The Centre for Teaching and Learning have developed the following Excel Rubric template, based upon the recommendations and guidelines for writing rubrics, which is compatible with Turnitin.

Download the Tii_Rubric_Template.xlsx

 An Excel template can also be downloaded from the Turnitin Rubric/Form Manager to help get you started. Select Download Example Template on the Import Rubrics screen to download an Excel Rubric template (see importing an Excel rubric below if you are unsure how to navigate to this screen).

Note the Excel conditions

Please note the conditions listed for Importing from Excel Files, which apply to an Excel rubric. Otherwise, the Excel file will not import correctly into Turnitin.

Once you have an Excel template, open the downloaded template in Microsoft Excel and edit the descriptors and columns to support your rubric design. Save the file when you have made all the required changes.

Using an Excel template - Tips and Tricks!

  • If you already have a Microsoft Word rubric to work from, start by copying over each criterion descriptor individually into the 'xxx' section in the Excel document. 
  • Criterion names longer than 13 characters will be cut off when you import the rubric. To add longer criteria descriptions, use Alt + Enter to create a new line in the same cell (as shown in the CTL template as xxx). 
  • Copy text into each cell one line at a time. This way, you will be able to fix up any overflow (that is, a description going over more than one cell) easier than if the entire rubric is copied.
  • Make sure that none of the cells are merged. This will cause an import error.
  • Keep the name of your file less than 30 characters, or the file will fail to import.
  • It is a good idea to double-check the conditions listed on the Import Rubric screen before you attempt the import process.

Importing an Excel Rubric

Once you have developed a suitable Excel rubric file, the import process is relatively straightforward. Once the file has been imported successfully, the appropriate percentage values must be assigned manually.

  1. Open the Turnitin Assignment Settings from the Assignment inbox.

  2. Select Launch Rubric Manager, located under the Optional Settings menu.
  3. Select the Box icon in the top right-hand side of the light blue bar, then choose Import.

  4. From the Import Rubrics screen, choose Select Files, and browse and select the Excel file, and then choose Open.

  5. If your rubric imports successfully, it will show up with a tick. Select View to open up the rubric.

    Rubric Import failed

    If you experience an error importing an Excel Rubric, please review the conditions listed for Importing from Excel Files, listed above and make any required changes to the file. Using a template will help reduce the possibility of running into importing errors.

  6. This will take you back to the Rubric Manager. By default, the Rubric Scoring will be set to Qualitative. Select the percentage icon (%) at the bottom of the screen next to convert the rubric to Quantitative so that score values can be used.

  7. Now you can add criterion weightings. Make sure that your criteria sum up to 100%.

  8. Add the scale values to each column. For each grade descriptor, you should use the midpoint of the range (e.g. Distinction (75-84) midpoint would be 79%).

    Rubric Midpoints to use

    See Weighting Turnitin Rubrics for an explanation of the grade descriptor ranges that should be used with Turnitin rubrics.

    Assigning a mark of zero to a column

    Where a student has not addressed a particular criterion, a grade descriptor column labelled "Not Addressed" can be used, represented by a scale value of zero. Ensure that you retype the number zero for this scale value; otherwise, the rubric will not save. 

  9. Rename your rubric by selecting the name of the rubric in the light blue bar at the top of the Rubric Manager. Note that Rubric names are limited to 30 characters in length.

    Select Save, then close the Rubric Manager.

  10.  You can now select the rubric you have created from the drop-down menu.

    Changing Rubrics

    Where student work has already been graded, you will receive a warning message if you try to assign a different rubric. Make sure that you ensure that important marking and feedback have been saved elsewhere before changing a rubric, or this information will be lost.

Video: Uploading an Excel rubric to Turnitin

The following video explains the entire process of developing an Excel Rubric and importing it into Turnitin.

(Please note - it's better to refer to the Online version rather than export, as it's always up to date)