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What is SmartRubric?

If you're just coming across SmartRubric, and would like to know a little more about what it is and why I think it's a game changer for teacher workload and formative assessment, read on.


SmartRubric is a formative assessment app designed to ease teacher workload while at the same time improving the quality and usefulness of student progress data for schools.

I developed the initial prototype of SmartRubric while I was an English teacher in a secondary school in London. English teachers reading this will know -- my marking workload was very intense. My colleagues and I would spend hundreds of hours every year marking open-ended essays and projects; providing extensive detailed handwritten formative assessment feedback for our students. And rightly so! High quality formative feedback is an essential part of facilitating student learning.

But, the way we were (and most teachers are) marking is broken for two reasons:

It is inefficient. Because we mark against a criteria; an asses…

Integrate your School Data with SmartRubric

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I'm really excited to announce that beginning in September, we plan for SmartRubric to be able to integrate with some school management systems -- SIMS, ScholarPack, Bromcom, RM Integris, Arbor and Advanced. 

That means that if you connect SmartRubric to your school MIS via Assembly, you and your department will be able to log in and get marking -- no need to set up classes and students!

The integration won't cost you anything if you have 15 or more teachers using SmartRubric, otherwise, SmartRubric will levy a £6/month flat charge. If you would like to start using SmartRubric in your department(s) starting from September with an MIS integration, I'd be happy to offer you a totally free trial with support for up to 20 teachers for the first half term (new paid customers only).

Just send me an email or schedule a call. I'd be delighted to have a chat with you about how this will work, and how SmartRubric could best support your department goals.

Smart Rubric provi…

Matching a specification in SmartRubric - Weighting Assessment Objectives

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As exam season approaches, ensuring that you are providing accurate grades for mock exams and practice questions is really important. In this post, I'm going to explain the tools available to you in SmartRubric for setting up correctly weighted assessment objectives. 
SmartRubric is a GIGO system -- if you set up a good rubric, your marking experience will be smooth, accurate and painless. If you set up an awkward or incorrect rubric, you will not get the most out of SmartRubric. But don't worry -- I'm here to help! You can always email caroline@smartrubric.com to get personal help. 

Typically, exam specifications will give you guidance about how much each assessment objective is worth, but it isn't always clear how best to represent that in SmartRubric. I'm going to go through an example where some assessment objectives are weighted more heavily (worth more) than others. I'll break down the mark scheme, and then build it in SmartRubric.
EXAMPLE:  OCR A-Level …

Tutorial: Cleaning up out of date Rubrics

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Because SmartRubric makes it easy to share, duplicate and modify rubrics, sometimes you end up with old, out of date ones clogging up your library.

You won't be able to delete them (unless they've never been used to asses work, in which case go wild. The delete option is under the 'Action' menu in the rubric). SmartRubric won't let you do anything to a rubric that will louse up the marks of students who have already been assessed by it.

So, here's what you do. Go into the detail view rubric you want to get rid of (Rubrics > Your Library > {Rubric}). Everything is going to be under the 'Actions' dropdown button, here:



1. If the rubric has been shared with your school, click 'Unshare with school'. Now it has been removed from the School template library, and no one else can accidentally add it to their library.

2. If the rubric has been favourited (the red heart is filled in), click on the heart to unfavourite it. Favourite rubrics float to…

New feature: Gap Analysis Gradebook

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I've added another high level report to SmartRubric. Now, if you would like to see how students in your class have performed by strand across all of your assessments, you can!

This is going to be super useful for exam preparation, because you'll be able to spot trends and weak spots at a glance. 
To access your Gap Analysis Gradebook, just go into your normal gradebook (Classes > {your class}), and click on the 'Gap Analysis View' link next to the gradebook title: 

This will take you into the Gap Analysis gradebook, and you can do all of the usual things, like showing and hiding columns and exporting to CSV. 



How to: Customising a rubric for your specific class

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The whole point of SmartRubric is to make feedback more targeted and helpful for students, and to make your marking workload smaller and more manageable. If you aren't customising rubrics you might be making your life and the lives of your darling students much more difficult and confusing.

Don't worry, it's easy. I'll walk you through it. Here's a scenario for you:

You are a KS3 teacher. Your department has a big 'master rubric', which contains all of the strands that are assessed in your subject, and all of the possible levels a student could be at for years 7, 8 and 9. That means, maybe, 12 or thirteen levels and ten strands or so per core skill on multiple tabs. It's colossal, but really useful because it contextualises and maps out pretty much the entire curriculum. If you are sharing rubrics across a department, I highly recommend having one of these. Email me if you want help building one.

So, the beauty of having one of these is that you, as, sa…

Managing rubrics for a wide range of abilities

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Or, 'Help my rubric is enormous and my AFL sheets look terrible!'

With the addition of the ability to create multiple assessments across different classes, a new and exciting issue has cropped up. Since your 'multiple assessments' all need to use the same rubric, you'll probably end up needing one that covers a much broader range of abilities (this advice applies to single assessments for mixed-ability groups, too).

Sometimes, this means you end up with a rubric that has upwards of eight or nine bands! This causes some issues with formatting your AFL sheets, because SmartRubric tries to cram all of your bands onto a single sheet of paper for your student.

I'm working on a smarter, more comprehensive fix, but until that's ready, I've made you a special 'giant rubric' AFL template. From now on, if you try to download your whole class AFL sheets on one of these giant rubrics, you'll get a little alert showing up, like this:

You can throw cautio…