Thursday, 22 June 2017

Rubrics - a way forward.

Rubrics and continuations by @sherrattsam article on  popped into my feed at a perfect time. I have been reflecting on how I can make mine more student centered and not just something I feel I 'have' to do at the end of a unit. 


At the moment I am working with a Graduate student and the conversation about assessment came up. My intern was finishing off his 'post' test (requirement from Grad school) and came across Child X's work.  

He was in a dilemma as he knew that Child X had made improvements. He had been engaged, shared ideas and answered class discussion, yet based on his rubric Child X hadn't passed. His personal OTJ judgement was that he had worked extremely hard on our Matariki topic yet he hadn't meet the criteria on the rubric to 'pass'. 

We discussed the fact that when assessing it should be meaningful and provide formative information not only for the teacher but for the student. To me assessments need to show a child their 'next step'.



One of the issues I have with rubrics are the ones written where certain students will never get off the lowest point despite their best efforts. How are we promoting success if we write them like this? How does that child feel knowing that they will never reach the middle or the top? This could also be said for the student at the other end of the spectrum. The child who will achieve. How are they challenged? 


Language! Even I have been guilty of this in the past. Creating a rubric that is full of jargon that won't help the students achieve. 


I will admit, I really don't like the word rubric- I'm more a Success Criteria sort of person where All students can achieve at their level. It allows them to achieve success but also means that they also have next steps to achieve. This is something rubrics don't often allow. 


One of the problems is that a lot of rubrics are designed by the teacher rather than co-constructed with the class/students. (yes been guilty of this as well!).



My focus next term is to work on this and create criteria's that are created with the students rather than for the students. 


  • where they think the learning is going
  • what they’re looking for from themselves
  • what they’re looking for from their peers
  • how they might reach – or get close to that
  • who might guide them in that direction (Rubrics and Continuum 2017)
This is something I would like to focus more on next term, co-creating with my students so that they are setting their own goals and beginning to communicate what they need to achieve.  Obviously I will need to scaffold this and provide models but I feel it will be more successful then rubrics I have used in the past.