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Project site: Rubrick

Install: Install Rubrick

Code Repo: Rubrick

Purpose and goals

Creating online work as part of university courses enjoys growing popularity and enthusiasm. University of Mary Washington, CUNY and Penn State have the richest environments for web publishing as part of the academic experience. Yet, the tools existing to assess online work continue to rely on 20th century technologies of email, word processors, and even paper.

Drawing inspiration from Zotero, Rubrick aims to address that gap by providing an in-browser mechanism for assessing online work. While at first glance it seems like a tool to ease and simplify faculty work -- and it is -- it more fundamentally improves student learning in the following ways:

1. Rubrick allows evaluation rubrics to be shared and reused, and so facilitates normalizing of rubric evaluations. So, for example, a teacher will be able to allow all students to use the same rubric to assess example work, and discuss the results in class. This lets the teacher and students get on the same page about what the rubric evaluates and how. (N.B. -- accrediting organizations tend to like this, too).

2. Rubrick encourages sharing and comparison rubrics. Online student work is still new territory for educators, and it does not have the old familiar standards of evaluation that the traditional X-page paper has. We need to widely share how we evaluate students' online work so that we can grow pedagogically and bring that growth into the classroom to improve students' use of the web for academic purposes. Making rubrics we use public will foster that growth.

3. Rubrick makes no effort to distinguish roles by student or teacher. Any student can create their own rubrics and share them with teachers and classmates just as the teacher can. This begins the process of peer evaluation, and begins the process of student reflection on how they evaluate their own work and the work of their peers.

More discussion is developing at the Rubrick project site


Original idea on ProfHacker

Followup on ProfHacker

Getting Started

Getting Started

Creating Accounts, Rubrics, and Dropboxes


Rubrick is still in development. Here's a few quirks we're working on:

Login problems -- if you are sure of the username and password, and have more than one FF window open, try closing all FF windows and logging in while only one window is open.

TODO for v.1 beta release

Here's the primary pieces to concentrate on.

Update Registration/Login

For demo purposes on the prototype, I haven't yet built in the usual email-response system for registering. That needs to be there in the release.

Add Submissions

For any Dropbox, the Dropbox creator should be able to specify a set of users who have permission to submit to the dropbox. This will allow to give notifications of new submissions ready to be evaluated using a rubric

Dropbox Management

Related to the above, various permissions for actions should be set for each dropbox. Permissions are not role-based -- they are assigned by the creator of the dropbox. This avoids unhelpful distinctions between teacher and student when it comes to learning how to evaluate online work.

Rubric Browsing

A way to browse the public rubrics that have been created is essential to the principle of learning by sharing (yeah--that's teachers learning by sharing, BTW). This will likely draw on SIMILE/Exhibit, since it's easy to take the RDF graph of the rubrics and put them into Exhibit's data format and make use of Exhibit's faceted browsing mechanisms.


Adding tags to rubrics, contexts, and rubric lines will help people to navigate through what might spark ideas and get examples based on their own interests.

User Settings

Some setup options need to be there for users, especially configuring what fields to give back in the spreadsheet reports, and possibly the order they should be in.