Rubrics for Targeting Rigor and Relevance

Assessing Quadrant D Learning

| Rubric Design: The First Steps | Defining Rigor | Sample Content Specific Rubrics | Online Rubric Generators | Other Rubric Resources

Effective lesson
design using 21st century skills and technologies lends itself well to higher levels of application, rigor and relevance as described in Willard Daggett's Rigor, Relevance Framework (see graphic right). Pushing students to CREATE projects that connect with real world applications taps into the pinnacle of higher order, 21st century thinking skills (see graphic below). The difficulty lies in assessing an often unpredictable product and the creativity embedded within project based learning. Developing a solid rubric is essential at this level because it eliminates ambiguity and subjectivity and provides authentic assessment to help guide student learning. This page is designed to give you some resources to help you in designing and implementing these rubrics. As we explore new approaches to assessments in our district, rubrics are constantly evolving. This page explains some of that evolution and provides specific examples of rubrics that have been implemented by our teachers. Please feel free to utilize these resources and adapt them to your specific needs.


Rubric Design: The First Steps

In attempting to quantify rigor and relevance in assessments, the first shift needs to be away from "rubrics" that are merely checklists of project criteria and provided little feedback as a measurement tool.

Our rubrics evolved...

Defining Rigor

While difficult to define at times, grounding ideas about rigor in essential questions and real world applications with multiple pathways to success helped refine our vision. What has worked the best for our purposes is constructing rubrics like the one at the right above (see templates and content specific rubrics page for an editable version of this), built around curricular gr
ounded areas of assessment, and clearly defined levels of expectations (rigor) leading toward full application and transformation of content.

The challenge has been in articulating those increasing levels of rigor to eliminate subjectivity when assessing. In most cases, turning to Blooms Taxonomy (image right)helps to define these expectations more clearly for both the teacher and the student.

As teachers found a need for a more specific breakdown of criteria, rubrics continued to evolve to accommodate. Below are two examples of rubrics that help articulate more specific categories of criteria. This one is from a web-design project in a Horticulture class where students had to design interactive web-sights that taught 3rd grade students about some of the curriculum they had been studying.


Sample Content Specific Rubrics

Click Here for a growing database of classroom-tested sample rubrics from Hampton teachers 6-12 across disciplines. Feel free to download and make them your own.

Online Rubric Generators

Other Rubric Resources