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Rubric’s Cube

Whenever the topic turns to rubrics, I can’t help but visualize a Rubik’s cube. Rubik’s cubes were a source of torment as a child; I spent many, many, hours  trying to line up those colored cubes. All in vain, I am afraid. Despite my love-hate relationship with this funky novelty, it did help me discover how much I enjoyed a good puzzle. And as we have begun to work on our evaluation projects, I can see once again, I am up against a puzzle.  The main question of my evaluation project is to determine if a course can be condensed into a shorter duration without losing the emphasis on the core course objectives. At first, this seems to be a daunting task…How will I know? How can I judge the effectiveness of a learning exercise? Well…by applying the criteria of a RUBRIC! I have mainly thought of rubrics as an assessment tool, a grading tool. But only now have I come to understand that the purpose of a rubric can be applied in any situation when a determination needs to be made regarding effectiveness, efficiency, and impact. As I began collecting information this week about the objectives of the course I am evaluating, I arranged them in a table. As I progressed through the objectives, making notes, I realized that I was creating a rubric that I could use to compare one course to another. And the guidelines for that rubric are the objectives outlined in the evaluator’s program description. While I am still trying to sort out the details of this new “evaluator’s rubric”, I am beginning to see the patterns evolving, common themes and objectives, and redundancies. This time, I won’t have to cut corners or “move the stickers” in the end.
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