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Assessing Problem Based Projects

March 30th I introduced my first ever Problem Based Project to my Criminology 12 students.  From day 1 they were engaged and excited to come to class and research causes, find professionals in the field to interview and collaboratively find solutions to their chosen problem.  Students were excited to not have a set criteria and the freedom to go in whatever direction they chose.  Parents signed permission forms to allow students to work off campus or meet interviewees during class time.  Every day students knew they were working on this assignment and knew what needed to be done and completed weekly.  Now, May 5, the projects are due (with the exception of a few who can’t meet with experts until next week).  So now the question of how to assess a mostly criteria free project arises.

Students have been instructed to create their own rubric based on past rubrics I have used throughout the year.  Students will use their own criteria of what they have done in the project and key learning outcomes based on their understanding of the assignment. Starting next week, after I have thumbed through their blogs/websites, I will pull out the groups and go through their projects with them and discuss their self-assessment.  Students will use evidence from their learning, interviews and blogs to show their understanding of the problems/solutions and “defend” their assessment.  So the final overall mark will be a mutual decision made by the group and I.  Students will take full ownership of their mark and there will not be any surprises.  Below are the blog entries and next week I will post some of the student created rubrics.

Example of Rubric from the SAOUNIVERSITY Group


Darla Morrell – rubric

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