Big on projects and presentations? Wild about writing assignments? Make sure your students understand what is required by providing a rubric.Custom rubrics are a great way to modify assessment for the English language learner or to individualize for the students with learning differences. Provide a rubric from the very beginning so students (and parents!) know exactly what is required to do well on the assigned project. You can even promote responsible learning by letting students create their own rubrics for projects.
Time saving resources on the World Wide Web can increase teachers’ productivity . There are a number of “teacher productivity tools” that not only help teachers save time in their work but, perhaps more importantly, assist them in becoming more productive and effective educators. These resources are even more exciting to teachers because they are free to use!This productivity tool assists teachers with the development and use of rubrics. The concept of the rubric has exploded in recent years, as teachers have sought assessments for inquiry-based lessons or alternative assessments to address different student learning styles. Experienced teachers will recognize that the concept of rubric is not new. We have been using various forms of rubrics for many years, but have only recently begun to capitalize on their strength as an assessment tool. Rubistar has become a very popular tool for assisting teachers in creating customized rubrics. It was created and is housed by HP*RTEC, the High Plains Regional Technology in Education Consortium. One of the regional consortia funded by the U.S. Department of Education, HP*RTEC offers free technology integration resources to educators via the Web. Rubistar offers a variety of features to assist teachers who may not have time to create rubrics from scratch. It also serves as a tool to introduce the concept to beginning teachers who may have little experience in the development and use of rubrics. The site houses a collection of generic rubrics displayed in a format that can be customized. These rubrics appear in categories such as Oral Projects, Products, and Multimedia. Teachers can change both the text for the various rating scales and the rating scales themselves. For example, one of the categories for evaluation in the Multimedia Project rubric is that of Presentation. Once you select a category from a drop-down window, the text of each rating is automatically inserted into the corresponding place in the rubric. You may then choose to make a few changes to accommodate personal needs or to replace this text entirely. When you have selected all of the categories and the corresponding text is inserted for each rating, you can print the rubric directly from your Web browser via a button at the bottom of the page, Make a Printable Rubric. For step-by-step instructions, the site also features a simple tutorial, which explains the process in greater detail.What are the possibilities with Rubistar? Just as there are many different types and layouts for rubrics, there are many applications of rubrics in education.
- Teachers can create and copy a rubric page as a part of the evaluation component in a Webquest. The rubric can serve as a guide for students as they create a product or as they go through a process. The ease of creating rubrics with Rubistar also offers teachers the ability to differentiate instruction and evaluation of students realistically, since so little time would be needed to customize a rubric for each student. This would be a phenomenal task without such a resource!
- Staff development personnel might use rubrics as a tool for discussion of quality or performance during a workshop.
- Mentor teachers might use rubrics with their mentees to explore the concept of project-based assessment.
- At the administrative level, a principal could use rubrics to guide faculty through certain processes or even to observe and evaluate teachers.
- Beginning teachers might design a rubric in Rubistar that they can later use as an artifact in working with their mentor or administrator.
- National Board Certification Candidates might include a rubric generated from Rubistar as evidence of how they are differentiating instruction.