There are many recommendations I have about grading with rubrics:
- When grading, instructors should have the ability to have the rubric in a pop-out window so that they can see the student work and have the rubric open at the same time to reference the language. Being able to hide the rubric is not enough. Many people have multiple screens. I would like to have the rubric on one screen while grading on the other. Instructors would also be able to adjust window sizes this way to have both open at the same time. As an instructor, it is important to see the language of the rubric at the same time as assessing the work so that your grading is consistent with the wording.
- Any comments an instructor adds to the rubric while grading should appear automatically to the student. If an instructor takes the time to provide valuable, personal feedback to the student, why hide it from them? There is a very small conversation bubble that indicates there is feedback. This is too easily missed! The point of grading is not to provide a score, but to provide feedback for improvement. Hiding this is one way of telling students that the overall score of the assignment is the only thing that matters.
- Comments in the specific rubric criteria should appear in the gradebook. Again, why hide this valuable feedback? There is a very small box to provide feedback on the overall assignment that appears in the gradebook only if the "show to student" box is checked. The box does not get bigger so providing feedback beyond a few words is difficult. Instead, there should be an "Overall comment" place on the rubric itself that appears in the gradebook. If you are worried that the gradebook will get too cluttered, have a feature that has the comments automatically appear but then the student can hide the comment if he or she so desires after it is read.
- Instructors should be able to highlight parts of the rubric. We are able to mark up an assignment, we should also be able to mark up the rubric itself. This is one form of communication to the student as it provides the reason as to why a student receives a certain grade. This is especially true if the student is in between two levels on the rubric showing some elements of an "Exceeds expectations" but some elements from the "Meets expectations" column. If would be nice to highlight the parts they are doing from each column.
- Instructors should have a rich text editor when creating rubrics even if there are limitations. The text is pretty small on the rubric as it is. I would like to make it bigger. There are parts of the rubric I would like to emphasize to show the difference between how this element differs between "Exceeds Expectations", "Meets Expectations", or "Approaches Expectations." At the moment I can only put this language in CAPS to show emphasis. I would like to bold, underline, italicize, or change the text color.
- Creating rubrics is difficult in Schoology. The text box in which you are able to write the grading criteria in a grading level is very small. It only expands when typing in it. Then collapses when working in another text box. Rubrics should have more language in it than a couple words. Instead of creating a rubric in Schoology, I have to write the language I want in another document so I am able to read it all as a whole easily, then copy and paste it into Schoology.
- When showing a rubric to the student in an assignment, the columns are pre-determined by the characters in the criteria or grading levels. I should be able to adjust this easily by dragging the column line. If the Criteria column has a long title, it will push the "Grading Scale" columns over making it small. Therefore, the rubric is askew.
These are the recommendations that I can think of for now. I use rubrics in every assignment. I love that Schoology provides the option for rubrics but feel this is a great area of improvement as well. Thank you for your consideration.