Example Rubric

Every activity in my class will have an associated rubric.  The rubrics will have specific criteria for evaluation.  They will also have a range of performance levels, each with a description of what an assignment at that level would contain.  Rubrics are important for encouraging students to push themselves to do their best on an activity and providing a clear description of how the assignment will be graded.  This allows students to assess their work before submission if they want to try to improve it.  They could even get someone else to review their activity and suggest specific criteria within the rubric they think could be improved.  For instructors, rubrics help ensure consistency in grading between different students' assignments.  Rubrics can also be used in activities where other students provide feedback on an assignment and revisions are allowed before submission to the instructor (Wolf and Stevens 2007).  

In "Cybercoaching: Rubrics, Feedback, and Metacognition, Oh My!," Dr. Petersen discusses how cybercoaching, can be used in online classes.  Cybercoaching is a method to encourage students to do their best and teach themselves how to learn the material, while online instructors act as the coach to provide feedback and encourage them to push themselves harder.  Rubrics are a critical tool in cybercoaching because they lay out exactly what is expected and how a better product could be achieved.  According to TeachersFirst.com, including students in the creation of rubrics can also be useful because it deepens the thought processes about the activity allowing them to spend more time reflecting on the content, they will understand what is expected in the final product better, and they will be more motivated to complete the activity.

Below is the rubric for the chapter review on evolution.  The categories and performance levels are clearly labeled, and the points each category is worth are available on the right.  Rubrics like this also allow students freedom to chose their own way to present the material for the assignment, allowing each student to tailor the project and utilize their own strengths to produce the best product.

Evolution Review Rubric
CriteriaExemplaryCompetentSynthesizingBeginningPoints Possible
Initial ideas that led to the theory of evolution -
Provide a background on the history of ideas that led to the theory of evolution and evidence available that supports evolution.
A thorough understanding of the history and evidence that supports the theory of evolution is shown. An overview of the history behind the theory of evolution is presented. Some elements may be lacking detail or issues with the material are still present.Some detail on the history that led to the theory of evolution is presented, but information is lacking for an adequate overview. Basics concepts are listed with no elaboration.10
How evolution works -
Provide information on what is known about how evolution works. Make all information easily understandable to someone who has a general background in evolution.
A thorough understanding of evolution is evident in the material presented.Evolution is mostly understood. Some elements may be lacking detail or issues with the material are present.Still working to achieve complete understanding. Descriptions are not well developed.A list of elements required for evolution is provided without details.10
Current research on evolution -
Research what new information is being published about evolutionary concepts. We want to tie the basic background information found in the text to some new research that is going on today to help solidify the concepts into ideas we can relate to.
At least one example of current research is provided with a clear link to the background information and a discussion of how this research will impact us.An example of current research is discussed and a clear link to the background material is provided.An example of current research is provided, but the tie to the background information is shaky.Brief mention of recent research with no tie to information mentioned in the text.5
Methods of Delivery -
To help your classmates understand the material it is nice to offer multiple ways of presenting it. You will likely write out some descriptions, you could embed images or videos from YouTube, or better yet videos you created in Jing or Eyejot. You could also embed news feeds or interesting conversations from reputable sources found on Twitter or another social network. A rhyme could be fun too.
At least three methods of delivery are nicely integrated to enhance comprehension of the material while maintaining the flow of the information.At least two methods of delivery are provided that enhance comprehension of the material.Two methods of delivery, but the second method of delivery does not enhance comprehension of the material.Single method of delivery.10
Appeal -
Your review should draw people's eyes and provide a nice layout where information has been separated into different sections. There should be a nice flow to the work that encourages readers to continue looking through the information.
Nicely organized with clear flow from one idea to the next and the methods of delivery aid learning. Different sections are clearly defined.Organized with flow between sections, but methods of delivery are not fully integrated into the sections.Has some organization, but lacks flow between sections.Unorganized.5

Works Cited
Involving Students in Creating Rubrics. (n.d.). Retrieved February 16, 2015, from http://www.teachersfirst.com/lessons/rubrics/involving-students.cfm

Petersen, N. (2005, February 25). Cybercoaching: Rubrics, Feedback, and Metacognition, Oh My!  E.C. Moore Symposium “Putting Student Learning First.”

Wolf, K., & Stevens, E. (2007). The Role of Rubrics in Advancing and Assessing Student Learning. The Journal of Effective Teaching, 7(1), 3-14. Retrieved February 15, 2015, from http://www.uncw.edu/cte/ET/articles/Vol7_1/Wolf.pdf

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