I read a quote once that said
“Learners need endless feedback more than they need endless teaching.”
That quote has stuck with me and ignited my desire for going digital with my rubrics. I want to quickly provide important feedback to students in order to increase their proficiency level in the language. What better way than digital, right? What I have learned through various rubrics on Docs and Forms using Google Classroom and Google Sites is that all digital rubrics are not created equally.
I briefly mentioned digital rubrics in my post a few weeks ago when I was talking about Google classroom. If you had a chance to look at it, I hope you found it useful. If you didn’t read about it yet, here is your chance.
My main teaching goal last year was to move from paper grading to digital rubrics. I was so excited when the year started so I could roll out what I thought was a great idea only to discover that it wasn’t.
My first experience was pushing out a Google Doc with a rubric on it and having all students make a copy of it then posting it next to their projects on their website. This way left me with three issues on grading: 1) It took way too much time for me to highlight the actual box on the rubric then type in feedback for every student. 2) Students really messed up the Doc. Because I was the owner of the Doc and students were making copies, the Doc was not always in tact when students went to save it. No matter how simple I made the steps to copying the rubric, students still did not follow directions (I am sure you are all shocked to learn this). 3) Students were only concerned with their online grade and never went into their Drive to read the comments and see what they needed to improve on or what they were doing awesome on.
My next experience was making a Google Form and I ran into the same issues as above. The Form was a mess, students filled out their name on the form before making a copy, the grading scale got shifted around to the wrong spots, and again students didn’t read the feedback because it was in their Drive and they would need to search for it.
My list goes on and on with the same errors and the same results.
About March last school year I gave up. I went back to paper rubrics. I was spending way too much time trying this and that and making mistake after mistake. I simply ran out of time and juice to keep going.
I dedicated time this summer to figuring this problem out so I didn’t go through this school year trying and failing to create the perfect digital rubric. What did I do you ask? I turned to my Google guru, Alice Keeler. I found these two posts on the rubric template and how to score the rubric using Google Classroom. I looked at it, checked it out and went to my district tech TOSA to ask if this looked like a good idea. I didn’t want another repeat of last year. And guess what? He said this was an amazing find and now he is coming to my campus to make sure everyone goes this route.
Here are a few perks to going digital and using Alice Keeler’s method:
- Saving YOU time. This rubric template, once populated with your scoring criteria, calculates itself.
- Feedback can be pushed to the student’s email. We all know how much they love their phones. Students actually open the email and read what you took time to provide feedback on.
- With access to feedback in student’s inbox, a dialogue about the grade can now take place. Win, win!
- Feedback is quick. As soon as you grade and hit a button, students can see their results. No more holding onto that piece of paper forever and finally returning it after the test was taken or even worse at the end of a term!
- You save paper from going into our landfills. This is my “why” I want to do this. All the above are important, but this is equally important. Our schools are big time offenders in contributing to the landfills.
So what do you think? Are you willing to change and try something new?