I've been thinking a lot about assessment over the past couple of years, and Chris Gallagher's article "Being There" where he talks about the teachers and the students as the major steak holders in education and thereby assessment. For me, and for colleagues Tony Scott and Lil Brannon, whose article studying assessment in First Year Writing should be coming out very soon, this rings true.
With that in mind, my students and I worked today to decided how we wanted their first project, a digital literacy narrative, to be assessed. I gave them a quote from Gallagher's piece and some time to write and think about that, what they wanted to get out of our class by the end of the semester, and what they thought were most important aspects in our reading talking and thinking so far that might show up in these products.
Here's our brain storming.
(Quick aside. This classroom has those cool chalkboards that slide up and down and I feel like the professor in Good Will Hunting - but cooler because we aren't using all those numbers) every time I get to use it!)
From here, we talked about what we felt was most valued and important, and while they worked in writing groups, I came up with the following rubric for us to work with.
_______ (10) Effort/ Risk Taking
_______ (10) Effective Use of the Digital Tool
_______ (10) Narrative hangs together ( Coherence/ Organization)
_______ (30) Reflects what we’ve learned about literacy
_______ (30) Is the narrative appealing? Do we care?
________ (10) Grammar/ Conventions
We talked about it and agreed upon it, which feels great. The students are happy with the way things are weighted and what is valued. They will also turn in a reflective letter with the project.
This "Rubric" feels a little better than one I've just made up by myself, and CERTAINLY better than one handed down from on high by a text book company or testing corporation. It's really, really subjective. Of course, there's no getting around that. But something is still bugging me about it.