Thursday, 25 February 2016

Single Point Rubric?

Let's talk about single point rubrics. Maybe I've been hiding under a rock for the past three and a half years but last night was the first time I'd ever heard those words uttered! I was at a Teacher Solutions PD session about the Digital Technologies learning area of the Australian Curriculum and single point rubrics were presented in with a slew of other information; I'm pretty sure the words "my head hurts" escaped my lips on more than one occasion more than once.  So, you guessed it: I had to do a little research on my own.  (I'm nothing if not predictable reliable.)

Long story short: it's a single set of criteria with room to record notes/evidence for performance above and below standard. Am I showing my age when I say "and here's one I prepared earlier"?

There are about as many formats as there are users.
I chose this one because it's familiar.
I struggled to get my head around the idea during the PD session for a couple of reasons. The first being that as a concept it's pretty simple, and glaringly familiar. I was confused by this. The example we were shown had about 30 criteria though (the entire Digital Technologies learning area) so I was puzzled: how was that remotely practical? Once the penny dropped that - in practice - these rubrics need only have the same criteria as any other rubric, aside from feeling a little foolish, I was intrigued by the potential.  Next I wondered how these were significantly different from the success criteria that I already use. (I post our success criteria on the wall (as you can see here) or task sheets.) In a nutshell: they're not! Well, sort of. They are in a different format with an assessment focus but using the same ideas and words.  Single point rubrics use these success criteria as the basis for identifying and recording evidence and feedback.

It was from this point that my inquiry began. The most interesting article I found was from the University of Nebraska that discusses the power of these rubrics as formative assessment and as a tool for responsible self-assessment. This resonated deeply with me because of my views on the importance of the role of 'self' in assessment and development.   It also reminded me of the anecdote shared doing the PD session: one teacher uses a red pen to write on these rubrics, the student uses a blue pen and their peers use a black pen. I'd been impressed by this story at the time but on reflection saw the potential as even more exciting: this opens the potential for a documented learning discussion. (I do wonder though whether there might be a digital option that works better? Perhaps a Google doc?)

Ultimately this is another tool to add to my repertoire. I can see how easily it could enhance my current practice: after building student capacity to identify success criteria - based on the curriculum achievement standards or whatever else we're working toward - these are publicly posted and used to create a single point rubric. Over time student capacity is built to use the rubric as a form of formative self assessment and peer assessment. In some ways it feels like a formalisation of what already happens.

Do you use single point rubrics? Any tips for success?

This relates to the following Australian Professional Standards for Teachers...
Standard 6 Engage in professional learning

No comments:

Post a Comment