RubiStar, described as a 'tool to help teachers who want to use rubrics but don't have the time to design them from scratch', guides users in the location
and/or development of rubrics in a wide variety of subject areas and learning activities. Users of this tool can create and save a rubric; find a rubric by keyword, author, or email address; or register at the sight in order to analyze the effectiveness of a specific rubric. Tutorials guide the user through the use of this site. The ability to register as a user and to find a rubric by author allows this site to also serve as an onlne professional community. "Inspiration" rubrics that highlight not only the rubric but details of the lesson plan with teacher comments and links to student assignments allow the use of this site as a source of quality lesson plans.
Type of Material:
Simulation. Databse of rubrics
RubiStar can be used to introduce the concept of rubrics to teacher education students, to assist students in developing rubrics for lesson plans and student teaching, and to analyze the effectiveness of a rubric in a specific teaching environment.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
This site does not state specific learning goals but can be used to: 1-Introduce teacher education students to the concept of rubrics. 2-Guide teacher education students in the development of rubrics. 3-Assist teacher education students in the analysis of the effectiveness of a specific rubric to provide criteria for judging a learning activity.
Target Student Population:
The targeted audience is the in-service teacher, but the learning object can be used by university faculty teaching a course in testing and evaluation to pre-service teachers.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Users should know how Rubrics are developed and their purpose.
RubiStar is a very diverse tool that can be used throughout the teacher education program. This tool can also be used during the professional career of teachers. Rubrics are included for the core four subject areas (mathematics, science, social studies, reading/writing) as well as for art, music, and multimedia. The inclusion of rubrics for a wide range of learning activities is a particular strength of this site as it guides students in developing rubrics that look at both the content of process of learning. Users of this site can toggle between an English and Spanish version of this resource.
This site may be of limited use for special education teachers or for teachers in an inclusive classroom as adaptations for special education are not included in this resource. As noted above, the site is available in both English and Spanish, however, the ability to create a rubric in English and then to translate just the rubrice to Spanish would better serve the needs of teachers in bilingual classrooms who do not speak Spanish.
Use of Rubistar may lead to lax behavior on the part of the educator. Thinking that if it cannot be done like the one in Rubistar, it can't be done. This is not the fault of the authors of this sight, or the site information, but we are all looking for the short cut.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The Rubistar provides the user with ready made and well thoughtout rubrics for a variety of performance assessment projects. The rubrics follow good evaluation procedures and shows what is possible. The user is encouraged to add or delete language for each of the rubric elements. The ability to do this is a boom for this site. The user does not have to settle for the "package".
The ability to use this tool as both an introduction to rubrics and to reinforcement the development and use of rubrics throughout the teacher education program makes it a very effective resource.
The concern this reviewer has with "ready made" rubrics is that the uses is not challenged in creating one from scratch. Knowing that for each performance assessment project there are unique things that will be used to evaluate by the teacher, the fear is that the user will "settle" for the premade rubric. The site does not "teach" how to develop a rubric, and it does not distinguish
between "Holistic" and "Analytic" rubrics. This information is essential to
understanding the nature of rubrics and when to use them.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Although the use of this resource is very intuitive, the availability of tutorials that guide users through the process of creating, editing, and analyzing rubrics strengthen the useability of this site.
The search feature provides automatic truncation but the lack of a tutorial for
the search feature may lead users to include multiple versions of a term (e.g. butterfly and butterfly). The site would also be improved by the option to submit a rubric at multiple points in a page rather than just at the end of a very long list of options for rubric elements.
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