Friday, May 10, 2013

F.W. Johnson ELA10 Backward Design Rubric Project

During the past few years, Kelsey Panko, Learning Leader and soon to be VP of F.W. Johnson, has been investigating and experimenting with ways to better connect curriculum outcomes to the daily activities and projects in her ELA courses.  During a meeting in October, we quickly realized that we share the same educational philosophy around assessment and evaluation. We decided to team up and dive into the ELA outcomes to backward plan some assessment tools for her grade 10 ELA course.

Our goal was to create rubric templates for practically any activity a teacher may do in class. This meant we would create templates that would allow assessment of specific outcomes, yet the tools/rubrics would be general enough to be adjusted to any teacher and various versions of projects, assignments or activities. For example, we wanted to create a rubric that assessed any presentation that included media, or a rubric that could assess and written inquiry task.

As detailed in the sample of the project below, we approached the task in a systematic way to ensure that, among other things, the rubrics would promote assessment as learning, use student and parent friendly language and result in many levels of achievement for each outcome, rather than one grade for a project or activity. A full rationale of the guiding principles and backward design steps is in the document below. Also included in the document is a backward planned inquiry unit with corresponding rubrics.

Implementation and Testing

Kelsey has been using the templates throughout the year, and, in fact, has engaged the students in adapting and rewriting the rubrics to match particular tasks. The students have been using the rubrics, too, to self and peer assess, writing their notes and comments directly on the rubric at different stages of the project. By the end of the unit, each student has a detailed history of the formative assessment they have received. As well, as shown in the rubric sample, students receive multiple levels of achievements for the project, one for each outcome address in the unit.

Next Steps

Kelsey is working with the grade 10 team at the moment sharing, collaborating and editing the rubrics for use in the next school year--the goal being the creation of interdisciplinary units and assessment rubrics. The rubric templates will provide consistency across subjects, teachers and courses. Watch for version 2.0 coming next school year!

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