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The Assessment, The Evaluation, the The Rubric…do they matter?

June 26, 2010

This post is a discussion of the self-assessment I did for one of my many Wilkes Projects. I chose one from my first course, a Google Earth Virtual Field Trip for the course EDIM 508- Digital Media in the Classroom. I completed a rather unique and, I thought at the time, original, use of this kind of project. I chose to map out a Grade 7 novel, Remote Man, that I had used with my students. Author Elizabeth Honey had collaborated with me a number of times to create a live, online discussion with my students about the book. It seemed natural to explore this story using Google Earth. I blogged about this before in 2008. Later on, I polished the virtual field trip when I discovered a website,, that promoted the use of Google Earth as a way to teach literature. I was thrilled that my work was published. This kind of reward far outweighs the grade received from my Wilkes instructor or my own self-evaluation here!

The Rubric I chose was one of the samples provided and was a General Rubric for Multi-Use Projects, and includes a long list of criteria areas, as well as criteria unique to certain types of projects, including multi-media, Powerpoint and Google Earth field trips. Since it included the project type I chose to evaluate, it seemed a good fit.

I chose a limited number of criteria to self-evaluate my work:

  1. Multimedia Components
    1. Descriptive or narrative
      1. Shows evidence of pre-writing; well structured; does not ramble; length is appropriate and shows some editing. Mark: A
      2. Google Earth tour-Tour has 8 placemarks; connected with the GE path tool; displaying a photo ,a brief description, and a link or embedded material. Mark: A- due to GE path not used
  2. Required Elements
    1. Deep Reasoning & Understanding- The Rubric cited requires that teachers apply specific criteria that would be in their Assessment Plan for evidence of learning. My evidence is the fact that I elaborately connected material in the book Remote Man, information and insights of the author, my own personal experiences and insights, about the story, and its meaning, in a unique and creative way. My Mark: A
    2. Learning Targets-
      1. Factual Information-facts in the first 2 sections show a detailed and thorough understanding of concepts, processes, problems, benefits, or issues. Mark: A
      2. Mechanics of writing-Mark: A
      3. Ethical use of images and music;
        1. All images and music are from CC sources, used with written permission, or original. Mark: A
  3. Effectiveness and Impact
    1. Thoughtful, Persuasive, Creative, Original, Compelling, Emotional appeal
      1. 5 or 6 criteria are present in any or all of the parts of the presentation- Mark: A
  4. Injection of Personality
    1. The personality of the writer is evident through his/her use of humor, personal experiences, and development of a personal point of view. Mark: A

So this is the point where the Rubric ends. There needs to be some other criteria for this specific project, but the ones above, chosen from the example Rubric, certainly cover most of the product.

Here are some Google Earth skills and process criteria that would be useful for the evaluation, some of which were included in the original Course EDIM 508 Rubric for the project and should be included, in some form, in a student Rubric.

  1. Instructional design (clear instructions, logical flow between placemarks, etc.)
  2. Insertion of images
  3. Integration of content in placemarks
  4. Application- used the learning is a unique or original application
For further information about this project, the Reflection Paper document I submitted with it provides extra discussion and explanation.
Overall, I achieved an “A” and rightly so! My work was original, in that I applied my learning in a unique way and furthermore, had it published more widely as a result. Did all this matter? Yes! But the intrinsic rewards bestowed on me when I saw it published on the Internet were far greater!
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