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Creating Effective Rubrics

Professional Growth Plan – 2015

Goal:

To learn to create effective rubrics to use as a tool to inculcate and teach students the habit and skill of self-assessment so that they can be independent and critical learners. 

Rationale:

I have realized that providing assessment on a finished product is of no much value. Instead if students are given the check list or rubrics for self assessment before hand, the standard of work they turn in turns out much better. After all, assessment for learning is better than assessment of learning.

 

Hence, I believe we should give more importance to assess the process rather than the product. However, it is easier said than done. But, if we teach students how to use the tool of self assessment, we will be able to free ourselves from the drudgery of correcting careless mistakes students make. Many a times, I have had this annoying feeling of wasting my time as while giving feedback to students on their written work, they know the mistakes they have committed! It happens quite often which indicates that they don’t self-assess their work.

 

So, inculcating the habit and skill of self-assessment among students will help them to be a critical and independent learner.

 

Mode:

I have already gone through the book I asked for last year which is ‘Classroom Assessment and Grading That Work’ by Robert J. Marzano. In addition, I have almost finished chewing and mulling over ‘How to Assess Authentic Learning (Fifth Edition) by Kay Burke. This book has been an immense help in strengthening and sharpening my tools of assessment using rubrics. I would like to thank DOE for the collection of amazing books on education in our staff library to keep us rejuvenated in our chosen field for a long time to come.

 

Moreover, I have referred to some of the following websites viz:

 http://rubistar.4teachers.org/

cjparker.edublogs.org

 http://www.rcampus.com/

 http://www.readwritethink.org/ https://www2.uwstout.edu/content/profdev/rubrics/secondaryteamworkrubric.html

 

Action plan:

What I have learned from my last year’s experience is that to be able to work smart one should work hard first. This year both I and my students were on a very clear term with regard to the standards I expect from them in their English project as I gave them the rubrics I designed keeping the end in mind from the very beginning. The students have got the rubrics for the assessment of classwork/ homework and self study assignment I gave them for formative assessment to be done during my period when I was on official leave for CBSE Evaluation duty for two weeks. My objective for the assignment was to inculcate the habit of independent learning and self-assessment. Today is my first day at work after the evaluation duty and I have checked some note books. I am happy that most of them have followed the rubrics. The most satisfying response from the students was timely submission. No excuse. Because…. one of the criteria of assessment which is weighted is….. timely submission. The ball was in their court.

 

Similarly, for every form of assessment, I will design rubric in advance and equip the students with the criteria before the assessment.

 

Since rubrics per se is ineffective unless we actually assess students’ work, which I believe is the unbelievably the most neglected area in teaching and learning process. Therefore, since last year every afternoon after the class I have devoted one and half hours for evaluating students’ work as per rubrics. Last year, it was from 2:30 to 4:00 and this year 4:00 to 5:30 as after lunch being a new parent I am on paternal duty to bathe our baby and when he goes to sleep, I steal a nap for half an hour to be energized for the professional duty at the specified time.

 

Usually I am a firm believer in going extra mile in my work. So, after class, prior to last year, I used to give extra class to weaker students or guide students in preparing for their class presentation or drama, but since last year I decided to focus my time and energy in assessment because we spent a lot of time and energy in imparting information and skill to students, but do we give equal importance to assessment, which is also an integral part of teaching? Being a language teacher for many years, a question that I still ask myself when I deal with the students scratching their head instead of twirling their tongue to speak in English or when they make elementary errors from the pedestal of senior secondary level. Is it due to, apart from other factors, lack of effective assessment in practice in our schools specifically in Tibetan and English compelling us to bemoan the low level of standard of our students in the two subjects?

 

Timeline:

I have learned that there are other tolls to encourage and promote self-assessment among students. However, for this year, I will focus on specializing in creating effective rubrics.

 

Signs of success:

I will consider myself successful in achieving my goal when students become accountable for their own learning: submitting work on time as per the standards specified in rubrics.

 

As I learn more on the subject every day, I feel successful at every stage of the discovery through books, websites and personal experience gained by trial and error method.

 

 Mr.Tenzing Rapgyal, TGT English

 Tibetan Children’s Village School, Selakui, Dehradun 

Date:23rd April, 2015