Cell Phone Plan Research Project – Grading Rubic

In this project we will be asking students to conduct a comparison-shopping exercise. They will first look at their most-preferred smartphone, and what it costs. They also need to specify what exactly makes this their preferred smartphone.

Next, students will need to identify cell phone service providers that support their phone. This is the bulk of the project. Students are asked to:

  1. Compare the price of their preferred smartphone if they were to buy it outright versus make monthly installment payments through a cell phone provider.
  2. Compare cell phone plans from at least two providers.

Students are asked to compare two different cell phone providers with similar plans. To drive home key financial literacy concepts, they are also asked to compare both providers’ total costs over a 3-year period. This will help students internalize:

  • The full cost of the phone when it is financed vs purchasing up-front.
  •  The difference between the introductory (advertised) plan cost against what it costs long-term after the intro period expires.

Last, students are asked to evaluate their final choice, and consider the impact of the research they have done so far. Specifically, they are asked to consider how much of a better deal they could get themselves if they sit down for two full hours to compare different combinations between phones, cell phone plans, and cell phone providers to try to find the best deal. They are asked to compare this against an hourly wage rate to drive home the importance of comparison shopping in their day-to-day life.

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 about cell phone prices or plans is missing or inaccurate.Information about cell phone prices or plans is present but does not have all appropriate references or calculations for the long-term costs.All pricing information is present with appropriate sources, and long-term price calculations are present and accurate.
InsightPreferred cell phones and/or cell phone plans are presented without any justification on why they are preferred.Student lists their preferred cell phone and cell phone plan but does not explain why key features are important to the decision-making process.The student demonstrates their preferred cell phone and/or cell phone plan and shows a clear distinction of why it is their preferred choice over the long run.
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!