Rubrics: Save, Copy, and Customize. Need We Say More?

Contributed By

Dylan Rodgers

Content Strategy Manager and Editor in Chief of the Schoology Exchange

Rubrics: Save, Copy, and Customize. Need We Say More?

Posted in Schoology | February 20, 2015

There are many schools of thought when it comes to assessing student understanding. In fact, even when two schools are using the same basic strategy for grading—take mastery learning for example—they may use different criteria or combine various tactics into one unique approach.

And because digital and blended learning are relatively uncharted territory, we want to provide you with a sort of "stable flexibility" to make it easier to teach and assess students however you choose.

Today is another big step in that direction, with many more to come.

Rubric Enhancements: Round One

As one of the most important features on our platform, rubrics are the subject of many community feature requests and conversations. We hear you loud and clear, Schoology Community. This first set of enhancements make rubrics much easier to use and more flexible in ways you've requested. 

Rubrics Attached to Graded Items Stay Attached 

Rubrics that are "attached" to assignments and discussions will now remain attached to that item even when the item is copied to another course! So what does that mean for you?

Let's say, for example, you create an assignment asking your students to write a report on the expansion of the Mongolian Empire. You then decide to use a rubric to grade it. Three years down the road, you can still use the same assignment and grade it with the same rubric without any real effort.

Now think big picture. This enhancement will end up saving you quite a few clicks, and every click is a little more time in your pocket. That's time you could be spending with your students. Every little bit helps.

Mixed Criteria Rubrics

Rubrics now support a mixture of custom criteria and learning objectives. This added flexibility means you can take a little bit of the Common Core and add a splash of your own criteria to, as Emeril puts it, "kick it up a notch!"

Check it out:

*Fibonacci Scale Only for Grading Architecture and Composition ;)

  1. The first two rows in the Criteria column are custom criteria.
  2. The third and forth rows are standards-aligned criteria.
  3. Click (+) Criteria to add a new row of customizable criteria, or click Align Learning Objectives to open the Standards Browser and add a new standard-aligned criteria to the rubric.
  4. Quickly edit the rubric's grading scale using one of your existing Point-Based Grading Scales.

If nothing else, this enhancement provides you with more flexibility over all. Maybe you need to assess one or two students on custom criteria based on their needs, while still tracking their progress on mandated standards. Now you can.

 Custom criteria will not display in your Mastery Dashboard. If you want them to, you need to turn them into custom learning objectives.

Your rubrics, regardless of what criteria they include or how they are created, are now saved into your Grade Setup area and the list you choose from when creating graded items. This means that you can access, edit, reuse, and copy any of your rubrics to other courses individually!

Saving and Reusing Your Rubrics

This enhancement is going to save you tons of time during the school year and as you prepare for the next. 

Copying an individual rubric to another course in Grade Setup.

Important Best Practices for Creating and Reusing Rubrics

Because all of your rubrics will now be saved in your Grade Setup area in one long list, it's very important that you use a clear naming convention. This is especially true if you create one standards-aligned rubric for individual assignments.

Here are a few important rubric best practices:

  • Think about whether you'll use a rubric once or multiple times. If you plan to reuse it, name it as clearly as you would your many assignments and discussions to make it easier to find among many.
  • Reuse existing rubrics whenever possible.
  • If you have to edit an existing rubric, make a new one instead. Editing a rubric that's being used on more than one item will change it for all items.

 Any of the "alignment rubrics" you created before today will be automatically named based on the assignment they were originally associated with.

We're not finished improving rubrics, but we're close. The following enhancements are right around the corner in another feature release:

Rubric Enhancements: Round Two

  • The ability to save and share rubrics via your personal and group resources.
  • The ability to save and share assignments and discussions with rubrics attached via resources.

* * *

Well that's all we have for you this time. We're excited to hear your feedback so please go try these enhanced rubrics out and let us know what you think. Comment below or reach out to us on Twitter (@Schoology). You can learn all about rubrics and how to use them in Schoology via our Help Center.

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