Student Ownership With Rubrics

My most recent area of focus has been on learning about ISTE Educator Standard 6 – Facilitator. I have always been eager to find ways to encourage students to take ownership of their learning. It is so important for students to understand that their education, quite honestly, is in their hands. And while educators are there to help support, and guide, students self-motivation and determination can help boost them to an entirely new level of success. So when I was reading through “Facilitator” I was excited to see the focus on not only that concept, but also about challenging students to use creativity and innovation to solve problems and communicate knowledge. 

ISTE Standard 6 – Facilitator
Educators facilitate learning with technology to support student achievement of the ISTE Standards for Students. Educators:

6a – Foster a culture where students take ownership of their learning goals and outcomes in both independent and group settings.

6b – Manage the use of technology and student learning strategies in digital platforms, virtual environments, hands-on makerspaces or in the field.

6c – Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.

6d – Model and nurture creativity and creative expression to communicate ideas, knowledge or connections.

Thinking of this standard, I was hoping to find a way for students to incorporate all of these things into one routine or process. This led me to my guiding question. 

What digital tools can allow students to self-assess and track mastery of the ISTE Student Standards?

In previous inquiries, I have looked into students having the ability to use their own creative process to demonstrate their understanding of concepts. My original goal was to try and find a platform that would enable students to have a visual checklist of sorts that showed the ISTE Student Standards with criteria to represent mastery. I then would utilize it for students to self-assess their skill level for each standard and have the opportunity to “check off” the standards that they have met, while being self-aware of the standards that they still needed to focus on. 

After searching for a while, I didn’t find a specific platform that would allow for this process. However, it wasn’t necessarily the platform that I was after, but the process of self-assessing and coming up with a unique experience for students to demonstrate their competencies. I figured that the best way for students to do this, was to use rubrics. 

How Do Rubrics Help?

“Rubrics are great for students: they let students know what is expected of them, and demystify grades by clearly stating, in age-appropriate vocabulary, the expectations for a project. They also help students see that learning is about gaining specific skills (both in academic subjects and in problem-solving and life skills), and they give students the opportunity to do self-assessment to reflect on the learning process.”

Edutopia defines a rubric as “multidimensional sets of scoring guidelines that can be used to provide consistency in evaluating student work”. A rubric gives a set of criteria to match a skill set to a level of understanding. Rubrics can be not only used for teachers to grade students, but for students to better understand success criteria. 

In today’s education world, students have more and more opportunity to demonstrate their understanding through endless mediums. While rubrics have been around for a long time as a way for teachers to grade students’ understanding or demonstration of skills, they don’t have to stay in the hands of the teachers. Using rubrics for students to self-assess, or allowing students to create a rubric for themselves can be an empowering way for students to not only take ownership of their learning, but also for them to deepen their conceptual understanding of topics. 

#1: iRubric

Student login

Pros: Students have 3 options for rubrics… to build a new rubric from an idea, to edit an existing rubric, or to make a copy of an existing rubric and repurpose.

Cons: The process to create an account has a lot of information to enter including first and last name, their state and zip code, and two challenge questions that you have to enter personal information for. I was able to create a generic account using “Studentonetwo” and other random information, however I would be uncomfortable having my students use this site and enter all that information in. 

Teacher login

Pros: You are able to search pre-existing rubrics made from other educators. For example, I found many ISTE standard rubrics that have already been created for immediate use! 

I could see myself using iRubric to create a rubric for students and have them self assess on paper. However, I am looking for something that would enable students to display their “toolbox of skills” in an easy layout to immediately identify ones they have mastered versus ones to work on. iRubric is slightly challenging to navigate and I would be uncomfortable having my students create their own rubrics using it. 

#2: Rubistar

Without logging in, you can search for pre-made rubrics. However, I didn’t find rubrics specifically for ISTE standards when I was searching. The feature for creating a new rubric also continued to have an error code pop-up. While you may have luck searching the database, it might not be worth it due to the exorbitant amount of ads. 

#3: Teach-nology

Of the first three rubric creators I found, teach-nology allowed for me to create a rubric without having to create an account. While it was fairly basic and not entirely editable, it was easy to entire criteria in, and quite fast! A drawback for student usage would be the amount of ads. There are MANY ads. But for a teacher to create a rubric for students to use, this is a great place to start. 

#4: Google Classroom Rubric Creator

If you implement a Google Classroom, their rubric creator is an easy way to create a new rubric, reuse a previously created rubric, or import a template from Google Sheets, for a posted assignment. While this is extremely convenient and works effortlessly within the Google platform, it does not allow for students to work through the process of creating a rubric for their assignment, which was my main intention. 

Mindset Shift

As I researched ways for my students to display their mastered skills, I didn’t necessarily find an exact solution. I did find some great rubric resources for my students to be able to use to create rubrics and work through the process of thinking about their learning. But looking back to the original standard, 6c states “Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.” So while I have found some great rubric creators, and I plan to use them at the beginning of the process to help demonstrate and scaffold, I am comfortable with students choosing the method in which they want to create their rubrics. 

How do you help promote student ownership in your classrooms? I’d love to hear from you!

References

Create or reuse a rubric for an assignment – Computer – Classroom Help. (n.d.). Retrieved May 24, 2020, from https://support.google.com/edu/classroom/answer/9335069

Lane, M. (2018, May 14). 10 Data Tracking Apps You Can Use In Your Class Tomorrow. Retrieved May 20, 2020, from https://www.gpb.org/blogs/education-matters/2016/12/13/10-data-tracking-apps-you-can-use-your-class-tomorrow

Murray, J. (n.d.). Technology in the Classroom Tools to Create Rubrics. Retrieved May 20, 2020, from https://www.teachhub.com/technology-classroom-tools-create-rubrics

Person. (2008, July 15). How Do Rubrics Help? Retrieved May 20, 2020, from https://www.edutopia.org/assessment-guide-rubrics

Rubric Maker – Where to Create Free Rubrics Online. (2018, April 30). Retrieved from https://www.pbisrewards.com/blog/free-online-rubric-maker/

Schrock, K. (n.d.). Assessment and Rubrics. Retrieved May 20, 2020, from https://www.schrockguide.net/assessment-and-rubrics.html

5 Comments

  • Jessica

    So helpful to breakdown the different components of using rubrics online! I agree that sometimes a platform becomes unusable (despite its potential!) due to extensive login processes, the quantity of information they are gathering, or an unwillingness to comply with state/district expectations. It’s a good reminder that educators and parents need to work together to keep a critical eye to help protect students!
    Also, many products are beginning to incorporate rubrics into their educational tools and platforms: FlipGrid allows teachers to create and reuse a rubric to empower teachers and students to converse regarding learning possibilities.
    Thanks for sharing your insights regarding rubric creators and tools!

  • Jan White

    Sarah, I applaud your willingness to let go and trust your students to find the rubric, or create the rubric, that best suits their learning goals, with your guidance. I love your last sub-heading MINDSET SHIFT because it highlights what we as teachers have to do in order to let go of controlling every aspect of the learning environment. This is no easy task, especially when a teacher is not sure if their students have the academic maturity to accomplish the task. However, when creating a rubric is taught so that it becomes part of the students personal learning process, as you said, then I think it is powerful.

  • Rachel

    Sarah,

    I really appreciate what you shared! I am always looking for rubrics that are going to fit well with my students and what I’m working on. I appreciate that these tools have options for premade rubrics and that I could create my own. I think that giving students the opportunity to self-asses their understanding and work. I am looking forward to trying out these rubrics myself. Thank you for sharing!

  • Kaelynn

    Sarah, thanks for sharing the pros and cons of those different rubric websites. It was super helpful! I love your idea of empowering students to take ownership of their own learning by creating and self-assessing with rubrics. Since I primarily work alongside teachers I am now toying around with the idea of having our staff use electronic rubrics to track their own progress teaching the ISTE standards. Thanks for the idea!

    • admin

      Kaelynn I love that idea! I would be interested in hearing what you end up doing with your staff and their self tracking!

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