--Many rubrics attempt to assess students as opposed to the product—this makes it difficult to hold students to an industry standard final product and also makes it challenging to involve community in the assessment. Someone who is not a teacher should be able to assess the product based on its quality. --The smaller assignments within the projects that we often refer to as “scaffolding” should be tied directly into the final product in some way. The rubric is the guideline for this scaffolding and the smaller assignments may not be used as a formal or summative assessment but should be considered formative assessment working towards the rubric (more on this later during the scaffolding workshop) --The rubric doesn’t have to be handed out the FIRST day of the project but should be developed and ready to go by the time the project is rolled out. Like everything else the teacher should work to create a NTK for the rubric to prompt students to ask for the criteria. --We strongly suggest that you include the standards on the rubric on the far left-hand side where the criteria is listed so that students, parents, administrators, and district personnel can see the correlation between the final product and the content standards. Listing the standards can also help you as a teacher make sure you are aligning the criteria of the product and the state standards.
Most teachers in any environment, traditional, PBL, or otherwise cannot “cover” all standards required. A curriculum map outlining how much time teachers anticipate spending on each key standard can help as you prepare for your project—if you would only spend 1-2 days in a traditional environment, you probably don’t want to spend 2 weeks on that one objective. Once you have identified the standard(s) for the project and approximately how much time you would spend, then you move on to the next step.
Breaking down your standard can help you make sure you align your project idea with the standards and keep it authentic as well. This is an example of the steps you might take to make sure you are aligned. 1. Identify what your standard is you want to address. 2. Ask yourself who cares? Who in the real world might actually need to have this knowledge? That helps you identify the student role for the project. 3. Ask yourself WHY this individual might need the information—what scenarios would require them to have the information and the scenarios your brainstorm become the context for the project. Once the person has the knowledge, what might they actually DO with that information—that is what becomes the final product. Walking through these questions can make sure you align the standards, the student role, the scenario, and the final product to make sense for the student as well as for you as the teacher.
Once you have aligned all pieces of the project, then you may consider doing the final product yourself as if you were a student in the class. Looking at the completed project helps you to determine what you really want and visualize what that looks like in its complete form. Once you have completed the sample, you can create a list of “essentials” that must be included and you can use that list to write your rubric.
When you begin the actual writing of the rubric, start with the proficient section—what does EVERY student need to know and be able to do to pass this project? What are the core elements of the project that you expect of everyone. Starting with proficient helps you set the bare minimum and then you can branch out to the advanced or the unsatisfactory columns.
Write a rubric that doesn’t require you as the teacher to assess the product—is it objective enough to give to a complete stranger and have them understand the criteria?
Higher order thinking should be imbedded in the proficient and advanced column—the phrases in this rubric cheat sheet can help you insure that your students have the opportunity to strive for higher order thinking in every project. The rubric is your best tool for driving differentiated instruction and workshops if you design it correctly.
Using peer edits, graphic organizers, and other visual tools can help students at they delve into the rubric. If you don’t build scaffolding support, the majority of students will not be able to meet the criteria. There are more examples in the Resource Library- search “Peer Editing”).
Using the journal is one way to push students to look at the rubric.
1. Creating Effective
2. Creating End-Product Rubrics
• Learn strategies for writing standards-based
rubrics for end-products
• Identify strategies for teaching students to use
rubrics to guide their work
• Rubrics should assess the End (Final) Product of
• Rubrics are the most effective tool for end product
• Assess smaller assignments within the project by
using other means.
• Rubric should be given fairly early in the project.
• Rubric should be connected to standards/skills,
so that strong performance on final product
corresponds to student mastery.
4. 4 Steps to Creating Your Assessment
1. Identify the standards, skills, and
objectives students will learn in the
2. Determine what format the final
product will take (see p.49 of Buck toolkit
for final product ideas and examples)
3. Identify the criteria for the final product
4. Write the rubric
5. 1. Identifying Standards You Will Assess
• How much time you will spend on each
standard for this course? (curriculum
• What standards will you include?
6. Stability in an ecosystem is a balance between competing effects.
a. Students know bio diversity is the sum total of different kinds of
organisms and is affected by alterations of habitats.
6. 2. Determine Final Product Format
Formal PPT Presentation
7. 3. Identify the Criteria for the Project
WALK THROUGH THE PROJECT IN YOUR HEAD:
• Visualize what the students will need to complete
and what the end product will look like
• Decide what is most important in the project in
terms of content and skills
• Create a list of “essentials” that must be included
to meet the standards, skills, and the driving
question of your project (higher order thinking should
be reflected in final product)
If you don’t know what the final product should
look like, how will your students meet your criteria?
8. 4. Turning the Criteria Into Your Rubric
Start with the proficient section and list the
items from your “essentials list”
• Narrative includes a overall thesis about the uniqueness of
the student interviewed
• Narrative includes information in a logical, sequential order
• Information included has clear significance and/or
relevance to the thesis
• Incidents mentioned have clear description of setting
• Narrative includes sensory detail and feelings of the
9. Writing the Rubric
Write More Objective Statements
(that move away from these kinds of statements, which are too vague and/or subjective)
1. Graphics are displayed creatively
2. Writing is enthusiastic and written in a fluid manner
3. Introduction uses an engaging strategy
4. Description goes ABOVE AND BEYOND in its description of
the history of the event
5. Description includes many relevant facts or details.
With a partner, choose one of the statements
above to rewrite in a more objective way!
10. Higher Order Thinking in Your Rubric
Rubric Rhetoric- Cheat Sheet
Rubrics are often one of the most difficult components to create when developing a Project Based Learning Unit. This “Cheat Sheet”
provides lists of action verbs that you can use to help guide you as you write your next rubric. The verbs are based on Bloom’s
Taxonomy and lend themselves to ideas of how students can demonstrate proficiency in key processes of learning.
(Below Performance Standards)
Choose Appropriate Procedures
In addition to meeting the PROFICIENT
0 - - - - - - - - - - - - 8 - - - - - - - - - - - - 16 17 - - - - - - - - - - - - 19 - - - - - - - - - - - - 21 23 - - - - - - - - - - - -24 - - - - - - - - - - - - 25
11. At first, the Students won’t read the rubric unless you support them
Getting Students to USE the
Ideas on getting the students to use the rubric:
Journal prompts that require students to utilize the rubric
Peer revision activities/worksheets that utilize segments of the
Have students generate “knows” and “need-to-knows” using the
Allot time for practice presentations that require peers to evaluate
using the rubric
Short workshops focused on one element/section of the rubric
12. How can I get the students use the rubric to guide their work?
13. Getting Students to USE the Rubric
Journal Prompt Examples:
In the Proficient column of the Science content rubric for this
project what does it mean when it says “________________.”
The rubric for this project required you to describe the history
of the event, the demography of the area, and the physical
geography of the environment. Which of these have you
currently completed? In the space below summarize each of
the three in 1-2 sentences each.
Read through the rubric: Describe three things that you have
to do in order to receive a “B” in the Math Content.
14. How can I get the students use the rubric to guide their work?
Reference the Rubric throughout the
Reference the rubric
throughout the project!
15. Final Thoughts…
Crafting an Effective Rubric
• Focus on the standards being assessed
• Be specific, using objective language when
• Make sure there isn’t one right answer or “right
way” for students to address each requirement
• If something isn’t on the rubric, it will not be
What other rubric-writing strategies have been
effective in your teaching experience?
16. Next steps
Work on creating your list of “essentials that
will be placed into your end-product rubric
You will receive multiple examples of
rubrics from your trainers:
Century Skill Rubrics
End product rubrics that are content-specific