At the end of last year I became very aware that I needed to do a better job of documenting the learning I knew was going on in my classroom through curriculum models; such as Challenge Based Learning, Inquiry Based Learning and other interdisciplinary approaches. At the same time empowering my students to self and peer evaluate each project and ultimately continuing to hone high level thinking skills. So as I began constructing our first project of the year I decided I would not only build an compatible rubric, but put that rubric in my students' hands.
Before I go too much further, I should say that our first project of the year was “All About Me” Paper Slide Videos. To give credit where credit is due, I should also mention that this project was put out on Twitter by Lance Rougeux/@lrougeux who was sharing Martha Rougeux’s brilliant idea. Just two of the wonderful educators I have met through Discovery Education Network.
Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to observe that as my students worked they referred back to the directions and the rubric on a regular basis. As time progressed, I was no longer being asked if things were good enough or if their projects contained enough details, because those were topics of conversations that were taking places between students. While at the same time the process of revision was slowly becoming a student endeavor as well. If I were honest this project did take a bit longer than I had anticipated, but it was time well spent. I LOVED listening to all the learning in action and let's face it I learned a lesson as well. My first lesson of this school year is that rubrics need to take a larger role in the learning process within my classroom and should not just be used as an evaluation tool.
Finally, I have found a couple of wonderful resources on the subject of authentic assessment that I thought I would pass along as well. I know I still have a ton to learn on the subject and can't wait to explore these resources a bit further.
Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything- Assessment and Rubrics
Jon Mueller-Authentic Assessement Toolbox