Why don't you provide preconfigured rubrics with comment banks?

I'm not a big believer in pre-assembled comment banks. Part of it is simple practical reality: your rubrics might have five quality levels while mine might have four; the comments from one of my quality levels won't match up cleanly to yours. And, more importantly, your voice should come through in your comments to your students. My style was lovingly gruff and I want that attitude to be conveyed back to them so they can feel the personal interchange. One-size-fits-all comments would be... blech.

Let's go through the expected EssayTagger workflow and I think you'll see the logic of having initially blank, customized rubrics:

I create a new EssayTagger rubric with my assignment's rubric elements and specified quality levels. The rubric starts out as completely empty.

I grade the first paper. I add comments to the rubric as needed -- and ONLY as needed.

I grade the next paper. Some of the existing comments are reused. Some new ones are added.

By the 10th paper or so, most of the comments I need are in there and I'm adding very few new ones.

By the final paper, I'm loving life thanks to the efficiency gained! There may be rubric grid cells that have no comments, but so what? If no kid had a Level 4 Thesis, so be it. We don't waste time creating comments we might not need. That's the beauty of the as-you-go approach.

NOW: I assign the next paper and it uses the same rubric or a very similar one. I have the site import my previous rubric and I alter it as needed (maybe this assignment focuses on Character POV whereas the previous one was more focused on Setting).

All of my previous comments (minus the ones from the Setting rubric element that I removed) are still there. Now I'm *really* rocking this class set right from the first essay.

The whole idea here is that the system gives you full flexibility -- YOUR rubrics, YOUR quality levels, YOUR comments -- but it helps you bootstrap your way to an extremely efficient grading process.

That all being said, you can share your now-populated rubric with other instructors. If they like your comments, they're free to use them and modify them as they see fit. But that's between you and your team. Instructors can impose a common structure or common feedback comments if they want to; I just know that this sort of standardization should not come from me or be imposed by EssayTagger.

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