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Rubistar - An Efficient Tool for Creating Rubrics

The current assessment-driven climate requires teachers to continually examine and evaluate student work. Rubrics are an effective way to grade projects and activities using specific, measurable criteria. Creating rubrics can be challenging. However, Rubistar provides teachers with an easy-to-use structure for creating them.


After creating a free account, teachers can search rubrics created by other teachers, or create original ones around the specifics of a project.

The site’s Search feature can be challenging. A search for “book report” generated over 14,000 possible documents. Despite the large volume generated by searches, new users may benefit from looking for them anyway. They will get a good idea of how teachers choose categories and develop descriptors. As most teachers prefer to create their own rubrics, the imperfect Search feature should not be a deterrent. Rubistar does a great job of facilitating the process of creating new rubrics, giving teachers control and flexibility.

Customize a pre-made rubric

To create a rubric, teachers can choose from several commonly assigned projects, including oral presentations and lab reports, and customize the rubric according to desired outcomes.

CustomRubric
Many common projects have pre-created rubrics.


After choosing a product, a new page will display tips for creating the rubric. A drop-down menu will display possible areas to evaluate.

CreateEdit
Many options are available for customizing rubrics.


For an oral presentation rubric, two possible categories are “Stays on Topic” and “Content.” Choosing categories will automatically fill in specifics of the grading scale, but teachers can easily modify these by changing the text in the box.

Categories
Descriptors are filled in automatically.


Make a rubric from scratch

Scrolling to the bottom of the Create Rubric page, with its projects for customization, leads to the link for creating a rubric from scratch. Basic information must be entered first, including the title and number of columns. Teachers can choose to make the rubric temporary or permanent. Since the account can store several rubrics, and there’s no cost for doing so, making the rubric permanent is the best choice.

BasicInfo
Steps to creating rubrics from scratch are clearly explained.


The next step involves adding rows, which will be the categories being evaluated.

AddRows
First, add rows.


Values, determined by the teacher, are added at the top of the rows. Next comes the most challenging, time-consuming part: creating the main content by adding descriptors. Well-written descriptors will help the teacher and the student understand what’s expected and how the project will be scored. Editing and making changes is simple, and can be done at any point during the process. Saving work frequently during the process is important, as a misplaced click to the previous page will lead to lost text.

Descriptors
Identifying descriptors is the final step.


The finished product looks professional, clarifies the grading process for the teacher, and explains what the student did well and needs to improve.

CompletedRubric
An example of a finished rubric.


Collect student assessment data

Once assignments are evaluated, teachers can analyze the rubric with the goal of identifying patterns of strengths and weaknesses among the class. The analysis highlights areas the teacher may need to re-teach, based on the number of students who met the standards set by the descriptors.

Results
Analyzing the rubric can support teaching and learning.


Teachers who are new to creating rubrics may find the process slightly time-consuming initially, but the site is very user-friendly and provides a clear format which is easy to follow.


Written September 28, 2012 by Tracy Derrel


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