Rethink the Rubric

Rhonda Bondie’s presentation, in Sydney with Project Zero a few years ago, really challenged my thinking around rubrics.

Why do we have a rubric where student’s are given the option to score 0 or 1 for not doing part of their task? Why is ‘not completing’ a part of the task even an option? Rhonda spoke passionately about the ‘must haves’. The parts of a task that are required. Over the years I have continued to use a ‘Must Haves’ rubric for tasks.

The rubric has 3 columns:

RETHINK: A list of things that will not be accepted such as poor punctuation & spelling, unsubstantiated facts

MUST HAVES: A list of items expected to be in the final product

BUMP IT UP: A list of ways to go further than the base line expectations.

My process:

I have found that it works best if I explain a task and state the general expectations and allow a couple of lessons for students to begin working their way through the task, before working as a class to write the rubric. If I try writing it too soon, students are not as articulate in expressing what the rubric should include. It must be a collaborative effort with everyone agreeing on the final rubric.

As a class we agree on the final rubric and print a copy for each class member. Students then highlight each must have as they complete it, and self-assess the ‘Bump It Up’ options.

I have recently added a couple of statements at the bottom for students to complete – I am proud of…and A goal for the future…

It is important to remind the students that sometimes the ‘Must haves’ are enough…but many still look towards self-improvement by working on the ‘Bump it up’ suggestions.

Give it a go.

Read more about Rhonda Bondie’s work here