Budgeting App Research Project – Grading Rubric

In this project, we will be asking students to investigate different budgeting “apps” and resources that people use to help manage their money. Student will be challenged to use critical thinking to address two primary concerns with budgeting apps:

  1. What features would really be important to them to help manage their budget?
  2. “Free Apps” are never free. How do the companies that make these apps make their money?

Students are asked to identify at least two different budgeting apps or online resources, and do a short review of the strengths and weaknesses of each app. For each app, they are also challenged to think about how the app creator makes their money. Do they charge for the app, or do they try to sell the users other services later? How would this impact how they use the app in the long run?

After each student picks their favorite app, they also are asked to identify its weaknesses that might make it challenging to use in the long run. Finally, students are asked to provide a comparison of using an app to track their personal finances against using a spreadsheet (or just pencil and paper) over 1 month, 1 year, and 10 years.

Grading Rubric

Needs Improvement (1)Meets Expectations (2)Exceeds Expectations (3)Total Score
CompletenessNot all questions have been answered.All questions have an answer, but some responses may lack full detail.All questions are fully and completely answered.
AccuracyInformation reported about the apps being reviewed has factual errors.The answer presented is accurate, but not complete. Important features or drawbacks are missing.Student provides a complete and impartial assessment of each of the apps being reviewed.
InsightIncomplete or unrealistic understanding of how the app’s developers make money or how the app would be used.Basic understanding of the app’s revenue model and how it could be used in the real world.Strong understanding of how the apps make money, how this might create conflicts on how the app is used, and creative approaches to what this means for users.
Style and PresentationAnswers are disorganized and difficult to follow. Numerous spelling/grammar errors.Answers can be understood easily with minimal spelling/grammar errors.Answers are creatively presented in an easy-to-understand format with no spelling or grammar errors.

Student Packet

Download and distribute the student packet for this activity by clicking the button below!

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