The Rubric

The sections below explain the concept of the club in great, horrible detail. Before reading this, take this simple explanation. Authors have no place to post their work for quick review. This concept allows authors to post papers or stories for anonymous review. Reviewers rate the piece 1-5 in 20 different categories. The person then receives a letter grade on that piece. Here are the key concepts:

  • The website is password protected for writers and reviewers.
  • A writer may post pieces on his or her own, but only one a month.
  • The uploaded file must maintain original formatting.
  • Reviewers are chosen at random. Ideally, 10 persons rate a piece.
  • Each review should take 3-5 minutes not counting reading.
  • The scores are automatically calculated. Those consistently getting an A+ through A- are listed by name if they wish on a page on the site. This is automated. Others are not listed.

Though I have the concept, I do not have the coding skills to make this work. What I need to make this work:

  • Members willing to write and to read.
  • Someone to help code the webpage.
  • Someone to help manage the membership and pieces.
  • Someone to help manage the technology.

If you have the skills, know someone with the skills, or have any suggestions, use this form to contact me.

Bylaws and concept

The Rubric Review Club

Overview and Concept

In case you are unfamiliar with the concept of a rubric, it is a system of scoring works based on a grid. In each grid, point ranges are defined based on criteria. For instance, if a piece has massive grammar errors, an instructor must give 0-5 points for that piece. If there are absolutely no grammar errors, the instructor should give the max for that section, say 20. This has several effects:

  1. It allows students to see beforehand what they have to do to get 100% on a project.
  2. It limits subjectivity on the part of instructors. An instructor cannot give a lower score because they do not like a piece or higher because they like it despite mechanical errors.
  3. It eliminates the “grade on a curve” theory and makes the system more fair.
  4. It speeds grading of papers in a college environment where instructors (online) often work two jobs. You see rubrics in all online learning arts classes.

The Review Problem

Many writers (or students) wish to have their piece reviewed before submitting it. An author might want to have a second set of eyes on a piece before publication. A student might wish to have someone look over a paper before submission. Currently, they may send it out and hope someone comes back with an answer. Reviewing a piece might take hours when the only people available have classes of their own, papers of their own to write and review.

What happens is that nothing gets reviewed. The more people that need reviews, the fewer pieces get looked at to begin with. The problem is that those reviewing the piece have no quick way to look at a piece and no time to do a full review. College professors get paid to do this very thing and they do not grade papers in that manner.

This is where the rubric comes in. It speeds the system up by making reviews faster. It gives a benchmark for the writer to get the best grade. It eliminates subjectivity by readers.

Reviewing Quickly

The rubric used for this club (currently) uses twenty categories with points ranging from 1-5 (and in some cases 0-5). These categories are viewable in the concept grid. A reviewer goes over the piece, rates each category 1 (or 0) through 5. Optional comments may be given at the end. Instead of taking an hour, the review may now take as little as 15 minutes! Even better, rather than one person looking it over, multiple people could look at a piece and offer individual reviews.

Scoring

When reviews are done, a piece receives both a Peer Point Average or PPA (instead of GPA) and a letter grade. (See below for both.) A PPA starts at 4.00 and letter grades run from A+ to F. Over time, the PPAs add up to give an over all score from which you get an overall letter grade.

Qualification

To qualify to submit piece, you need only to write a piece within one of the recognized subjects. This caters to fiction writers and college students. Qualifications to review will be based on experience and automated survey. Though the details are still under development, this may include a form, a short test on proper formatting, and/or a test about how The Rubric works. These tests on APA, MLA, Chicago, or even SMF serve as an impromptu education opportunity.

Subject

In theory, given the rubric system, subject is immaterial. Knowledge and research are the onus of the writer, not the reader. However, better reviews come from reader knowledge. This also allows for better side comments from the reader. For now, the subjects allowed will be: English language, literature or film, English instruction (all), sociology, philosophy (including theology), criminal justice, short stories, novellettes, and flash fiction. Strong language is allowed as is violence. No erotica or any work purely of a pornographic nature. Unless a scientific study (and a carefully worded one at that), no paper using childhood sexuality or degrading/discrimatory as a theme will be allowed. Advocating violence or crime is strictly forbidden. Poetry requires a new rubric and must be created later.

Get Onboard

Keep on browsing to learn more, or Click Here to find out how to get involved. Needed positions: Admin, Marketing, Webmasters, Reviewers, and above all Writers. Remember that nothing below is unchangeable. While I have made every effort to solidify the concept, it is simply to save work later. I hope as well that seeing a concept ready to plug-and-play will drive those interested in taking part, but not interested in starting a new group.


Peer Point Average

Unlike a GPA, the PPA is perfectly symmetrical. That is the number of points earned is divided by the number of points available and multiplied by 4.00. If you get 85 points, you earned 85%. Therefore we have the obvious equation:

4.00 x .85 = 3.40 PPA

With multiple pieces, we figure on total points earned per review against total points possible per review. If three people review piece A, two people review piece B, and five people review piece C, you have 1,000 possible points. The values of the ten scores are as follows:

95%, 92%, 98%, 80%, 89%, 92%, 99%, 100%, 96%, 91% = 932 points.

The PPA then figures this way:

932 / 1000 = .932; 4.00 x .932 = 3.728 = 3.73 (which is an A)

Letter Grade

Letter grades are independent of PPA. Here, we also have an A+, which most colleges do not recognize. Usually, anything over 93% is considered 4.0 and an A. Here, A+ is simply for percentages over 97.99%. Notice the numbers are weighted heaviest towards A and B. While this means you will fall in letter grade quicker, it also means a high letter grade is easier to maintain. Here is how they break down:

98-100% = 3.80-4.00 = A+

93-97% = 3.60-3.79 = A

88-92% = 3.45-3.59 = A-

83-87% = 3.30-3.44 = B+

79-82% = 3.10-3.29 = B

75-81% = 3.00-3.09 = B-

72-74% = 2.88-2.99 = C+
68-71% = 2.72-2.87 = C
62-67% = 2.48-2.71 = C-
57-61% = 2.28-2.47 = D+
54-56% = 2.16-2.27 = D
50-53% = 2.00-2.15 = D-
0-49% = 0.00-1.99 = F

Appeals

Humans are imperfect, therefore grades are imperfect. If you get a 90, 93, and 64 from three separate reviews on a piece, you may appeal the third grade. Any time you can demonstrate that a grade was not made in a correct manner, you may challenge it. this includes challenging a 100% as too high–though I’m not sure why you would want to do that.

Be aware that these are like challenge flags in football. You can only throw one challenge per quarter. However, if you can demonstrate a pattern of misconduct by a single reviewer, that the same issue leading to one overturned grade contributed to other errors, or some other pattern, you may present these.

Equal Opportunity

Discrimination based on race, gender, religion, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, or age is strictly forbidden. If an overt act showing a pattern of discrimination is found, a person will be permanently removed from the group, all their reviews and papers will be destroyed, and the discriminated party will receive my deepest apologies. However, this is drastic and evidence needs to be strong. A panel of administrators must agree by majority that systematic discrimination has occurred and the party in question may not be on said panel.

Harrassment is that action which singles a person out based on any of the classes above or on an individual level. Harrassment will be met with a direct approach to stop the action. Repeated acts of harrassment form a pattern of discrimination if related to a protected class. Harrassment leading to a pattern of bullying will be treated as discrimination.

This leaves the obvious problem of possible systemic discrimination. Though I am extremely concerned about this, I do not see anything which can be done at this time. If a person is unable to participate due to a pre-existing state, there is little we as an online club can do. While we are willing to make allowances for disabilities, in truth, a website can do little that is not already done. However, this does not mean we are deaf to the problem. When these issues arise, please address them. Though it is helpful if you come to us with a solution to fix the problem, it is not necessary.

It is necessary to say that respect is the key as is common sense. If a sociology student writes about racism and uses the “N-word,” that is not necessarily discrimination. It is not necessarily non-discrimination. Fiction is allowed here even if it contains strong, mature language. No erotica is allowed. No works portraying sexual acts with children and no discriminatory pieces. This does not preclude studies on these items so long as they are scientific in voice.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is not a concern at this time as the letter grades are little more than bragging rights. Though plagiarism is discouraged and frowned upon, we have not measures to check at this time. Should, at a future time, these grades translate into scholarships or other recognition, a plagiarism checker will be added. If articles are found to be plagiarized after a reasonable investigation: no new reviews will be allowed on that piece; the PPA will be reset to 0.00 for all existing reviews; the grades may not be changed or appealed without reinvestigation; the member will not be allowed to review any pieces on the site. A second instance of plagiarism will result in permanent, unappealable removal of account. The Rubric will rely on plagiarism checkers on the other end to ensure students are not using other people’s work for grades.