Educational Tools Rubric for Instructors

Rubric for Educational Technology Tool Evaluation

This rubric has been designed for instructors as a formative tool to evaluate educational technology tools for use in online education.

Instructions

Not all rubric criteria are necessarily applicable to all educational technology tools and those using the rubric are encouraged to assess irrelevant criterion as “not applicable”. The rubric does not identify a discrete threshold that an educational technology tool needs to cross before a tool should be used; the rubric is a formative tool intended to offer insight into the relative strengths and weaknesses of an educational technology tool, as evaluated against a set of criteria.

Functionality
Criteria Works Well Minor Concerns Serious Concerns Not Applicable
Scale The tool can be scaled to accommodate any size class with the flexibility to create smaller sub-groups. The tool can be scaled to accommodate any size class but lacks flexibility to create smaller sub-groups. The tool is restricted to a limited number of users and cannot be scaled.
Ease of Use The tool has a user-friendly interface and it is easy for instructors and students to become skillful with in a personalized and intuitive manner. The tool has an interface that may be confusing to either instructor or learner; there is limited opportunity for personalization. The interface is not user-friendly for either the instructor or learner; it is cumbersome, unintuitive, rigid, and inflexible.
Tech Support/ Help Availability ITS or CLPE technical support and /or help documentation is readily available and aids users in troubleshooting tasks or solving problems experienced; or, the tool provider offers a robust support platform. Technical support and help documentation is available but limited, incomplete, or not user-friendly. Technical support and help documentation is not available.
Use of multiple modes of communication The tool allows users to communicate through different channels (audio, visual, textual) and allows for flexible/adaptive engagement with material. The tool allows users to communicate through different channels (audio, visual, textual) but is limited in its ability to provide flexible/adaptive engagement with material. The tool is restrictive in terms of the communication channels employed (audio, visual, textual) and presents information in an inflexible format.
Integration with LEARN The tool allows for full integration with LEARN including the ability to store grades in LEARN if required. The tool allows for partial integration with LEARN or has an option to import or link to LEARN but integration is limited. The tool does not allow for integration with LEARN.
Accessibility
Accessibility standards The tool meets accessibility guidelines (e.g. local accessibility legislation and/or W3C WCAG 2.1 standards). The tool has some limited capacity to meet accessibility guidelines. The tool fails meet accessibility guidelines or no information of compliance has been made available for the tool.
User-focused participation The tool is designed to address the needs of diverse users, their various literacies, and capabilities, thereby widening opportunities for participation in learning. The tool has some limited capacity to address the needs of diverse users, their various literacies, and capabilities. The tool is restrictive in meeting the diversity of needs reflective in the student body. The tool likely restricts some learners from fully participating.
Required Equipment Proper use of the tool does not require equipment beyond what is typically available to instructors and students (computer with built-in speakers and microphone, internet connection, etc.). Proper use of the tool requires specialized equipment (e.g.unique device) that likely requires purchase at a low cost. Proper use of the tool requires specialized equipment requiring moderate to significant financial investment.
Cost of Use All aspects of the tool can be used free of charge. Limited aspects of the tool can be used for free with other elements requiring payment of a fee, membership, or subscription. Use of the tool requires a fee, membership, or subscription Use of the tool requires a purchase that is likely to pose a financial burden on students.
Technical
Desktop / Laptop Operating Systems Users can effectively utilize the tool with any standard, up-to-date operating system. Users may encounter limited or altered functionality depending on the up-to-date operating system being used. Users are limited to using the tool with one specific, up-to-date operating system.
Browser Users can effectively utilize the tool with any standard, up-to-date browser. Users may encounter limited or altered functionality depending on the up-to-date browser being used. Users are limited to using the tool through one specific browser.
Additional Downloads Users do not need to download additional software or browser extensions. The tool uses a browser extension or software that requires a download and / or user permission to run. The tool requires a past or version of a browser extension or software.
Mobile design The tool can be accessed, either through the download of an app or via a mobile browser, regardless of the mobile operating system and device. Design of the mobile tool fully takes into consideration the constraints of a smaller-sized screen. The tool offers an app, but only for a limited set of mobile operating systems. Tool is not accessible through a mobile browser. Design of the mobile tool constrained by the limitations of the mobile device. Access to the tool is limited or absent on a mobile device.
Privacy, Data Protection, and Rights
Sign Up/ Sign In Use of the tool does not require the creation of an external account or additional login, such that no personal user information is collected and shared. Either instructors are the only users required to provide personal information to set up an account; or the tool has been vetted through appropriate channels to ensure strict adherence to local, institutional, or personal policies/standards for protecting the collection and use of student personal data by a third party group. All users (instructors and learners) must provide personal information to a third party in creating an account and there is some question or concern of the adherence to local, institutional, or personal policies/standards for protecting the collection and use of such data by the third party group.
Data Privacy and Ownership Users maintain ownership and copyright of their intellectual property/data; the user can keep data private and decide if/how data is to be shared. Users maintain ownership and copyright of their intellectual property/data; data is shared publically and cannot be made private. Users forfeit ownership and copyright of data; data is shared publically and cannot be made private, or no details provided.
Archiving, Saving, and Exporting Data Users can archive, save, or import and export content or activity data in a variety of formats There are limitations to archiving, saving, or importing/exporting content or activity data Content and activity data cannot be archived, saved, or imported exported
Teaching Considerations
Collaboration The tool has the capacity to support a community of learning through both asynchronous opportunities for communication, interactivity, and transfer of meaning between users. The tool has the capacity to support a community of learning through asynchronous but not synchronous opportunities for communication, interactivity and transfer of meaning between users. Communication, interactivity, and transfer of meaning between users is not supported or significantly limited.
Formative Feedback Through the tool, learners can regularly receive formative feedback on learning (i.e. they can track their performance, monitor their improvement, test their knowledge). Opportunities for receiving formative feedback on learning are available, but infrequent or limited (i.e. poor opportunities for tracking performance, monitoring improvement, testing knowledge on a regular basis). There are no opportunities for formative feedback on learning (i.e. lacking opportunities for tracking performance, monitoring improvement, testing knowledge on a regular basis).
Facilitation The tool has easy-to-use features that would significantly improve an instructor’s ability to be present with learners via active management, monitoring, engagement and feedback. The tool has limited functionality to effectively support an instructor’s ability to be present with learners via active management, monitoring, engagement and feedback. The tool has not been designed to support an instructor’s ability to be present with learners via active management, monitoring, engagement and feedback.
Customization Tool is adaptable and easily customized to suit the classroom context and targeted learning outcomes. Limited aspects of the tool can be customized to suit the classroom context and learning outcomes. The tool cannot be customized.

Adapted from: Rubric for eLearning Tool Evaluation by Lauren M. Anstey & Gavan P.L. Watson, copyright 2018 Centre for Teaching and Learning, Western University and is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License