D. Library of References Readings, & Resources
6. Assessment and Rubrics
An effective assessment program uses multiple strategies to
demonstrate growth and performance, and should be closely correlated to your
stated goals. Projects in which students create multimedia
presentations, Web pages, artwork or songs may be evaluated differently than traditional written,
typed, or even word-processed papers. Assessment strategies can include performance tasks, teacher
observations, personal communications, standardized testing, and student and
teacher developed evaluation rubrics, and others.
Before beginning a project, it is always necessary to ask:
- How will you know if your project was successful?
- How will you measure what students learn?
What is the function of assessment in PBL?
Assessment helps teachers develop more complex relationships
with their students...
Assessment helps students answer the questions "Am I
getting it?" and "How am I doing?"...
can help make content connections clear...
engages students directly in the evaluation of their own work...
helps teachers plan their next steps...
helps students plan their projects...
The most common assessment and evaluation tools
used for collaborative learning are web-based rubrics. Most
generate printable versions of the rubric. Some have a rubric
calculator, allowing the teacher to select appropriate performance indicators
and have a grade generated. Developing meaningful
rubrics can be a
challenge. Involving students in the development of rubrics helps them with their
thinking, creates buy-in on their part, and clarifies expectations all around.
A rubric simply lists a set of criteria which define and describe the
important components of the work being planned or evaluated. A given criterion is then
stated in several different levels of completion or competence, with a weighted score
assigned to each level (0 being the lowest level) (see the list below for examples of
Online Rubric Builders:
good rubric will perform several functions:
- a guide for planning
- a gauge for measuring progress and maintaining focus on project goals
- an instrument for assessing the effectiveness of a project.
of Rubrics for NetPBL:
International Schools CyberFair
Mosaics of Life
Multimedia PBL Rubric
A rubric should give clear guidelines to a reviewer on how to evaluate
or "grade" a project presentation. Since the criteria for assessment are clearly
defined in gradations from poor to excellent, different reviewers can arrive at similar
conclusions when comparing a given presentation to each of the graduated criteria on a
As a guide for planning, a rubric gives students clear targets of
proficiency to aim for. With a rubric in hand, they know what constitutes a
"good" project presentation.
As a gauge for measuring progress while the project is under way, a
rubric can be a handy tool to help keep students on target: they can compare their
progress with where they want to be on the rubric's proficiency scale, and refer to it in
order to remind themselves of their goal.
Finally, as an assessment tool, teachers can use it to assess projects,
student groups, or individual students; students can use the same rubric for
self-assessment as individuals, in groups, and for peer assessment; and parents can answer
for themselves their questions about their child's performance.
While some ready-made rubrics may help to accomplish these different
purposes, they become even more powerful when students help develop the rubric they will
be using. Students must actively focus on and discuss the characteristics of effective and
interesting media projects, giving them depths of understanding and insight not likely
achieved from using a ready-made rubric.