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rubric to be given before cycle three. It was presented to the students along with the assignment so they could use it as a guide. I also used this cycle to clarify the rubric’s categories of assessment based on student feedback. The wording was clarified to make the ideas more categories more photographically specific, and larger concepts were broken down into subdivisions. RESEARCH QUESTION: How will using a multimodal approach paired with traditional rubrics given before the assignment, affect student-learning outcomes, as evaluated by the students? PREDICTED OUTCOME: I predicted that presenting the rubric initially would benefit the students because it would allow for a clearer understanding of the assignment. I also expected constructive feedback from the students on the design of the rubric, which would help me to make further revisions. EVIDENCE USED TO EVALUATE THE ACTION: The evidence used to evaluate the actions at the end of this cycle was a survey with the following questions: 1. Having received video feedback for the third time, how do you feel about it? 2. Does receiving the rubric before the project begins help to guide your work and give you a better idea of what is expected 3. Are the categories of the rubric clear and easy to understand? 4. Do I need to change any of the wording on the rubric so that it is clearer or makes more sense? 5. The rubric has been created on a 5 point scale to help you understand the quality of your work, and to help me keep track of your growth and progress. I could use "satisfactory" or "unsatisfactory" for each category but that would remove any middle ground. I could also use a three-point scale (similar to your sports grades) if that is better. Remember the semester grade will always be an S or U, but the rubric is to help you understand your progress. Please vote for the style of rubric you would prefer. 6. Overall, is the rubric a good representation of how you feel you performed on the assignment? 7. Are there other questions you would like the rubric to include, that it currently does not cover? 8. Please provide any other specific thoughts you may have about the rubric. EVALUATION: I received four positive and three neutral responses when asking if the students benefited from having the rubric initially (Figure 3.1.) The majority of these results (57%) indicated that this was a beneficial practice, while the remaining students were neutral to the timing. These results indicate that most students prefer to receive the rubric at the beginning of their assignment, or else
they have no preference, suggesting that the most beneficial course of action would be to continuing presenting the rubric initially.
Does receiving the rubric before the project begins help to guide your work
Yes, it is much more helpful Yes, it is a little more helpful
It makes no difference
No, it is harmful No, it is very harmful
Figure 3.1. Does receiving the rubric before the project begins help to guide your work and give you a better idea of what is expected 70% of the students stated that the categories of the rubric were clear, while two students asked for them to be clarified further. None of the students’ responses stated that the rubric was unclear. While this is a positive response, it does suggest the need to think further about the categories used to evaluate students. 57% of the students indicated that they were satisfied with the 1-5 scale of the rubric’s categories and that they did not need to be changed. A three-option scale and a ten-option scale were two other options offered by individual students. The common consensus indicated that the 1-5 scale was and effective option for the rubric, and suggested that there would be no need to make changes. Question 6 was an open-ended response asking the students if they believe that the rubric was representational of their abilities. 100% of the students indicated that the rubric was an accurate representation of how they performed on the assignment. This was not a multiple-choice question however the majority of the answers were “yes,” which, while not a reflective answer, indicated a positive attitude toward the rubric. There were two alternative answers given, the first one stating that the rubric helped but the final grade was the only important aspect, and the second one stated that they felt that rubrics limited the full capacity of an art project. This idea
of the rubric being a limiting force is a fair assessment because rubrics are restrictive in nature. All possible responses were confined in a few categories, which taken alone does not look at the nuances of artwork. The rubric was combined with a screencast because the video could lessen the limiting nature of the rubric. The students also responded that they could not think of additional categories for the rubric. REFLECTION: The first question asked how they felt about video feedback, the responses continued to be overwhelmingly positive. An additional comment was given, stating that being able to see the images while they were discussed was beneficial. These results indicated that screencasting continued to benefit the students in this cycle. Emailing the rubric to the students before the start of the assignment was a beneficial choice (Figure 3.1.) Whether the students found it helpful or were neutral on the issue, none of them felt negatively about the timing. Since none of the students found it detrimental to their learning the rubric should continue to be presented at the beginning of the project. In discussing the work of Steve McCurry, the students’ use of technical vocabulary has improved. They were better able to intelligently discuss their work and add appropriate details to the conversation. This change from the “I like it” responses to the more detailed and useful responses in our discussions may be a result of the video feedback or from the frequency of the group critiques. I am inclined to believe that it is a combination of the two ideas, since I attempted to model useful critiques during my video feedback and use specific language when discussing their work. This should have helped the students by providing examples of proper responses when discussing artwork. I also guided them during our in-class critiques to give meaningful responses to their fellow students. This repetition of both my feedback and the critiques are hopefully reinforcing their use of specific language. I may have no longer needed to ask the students how they felt about screencasting. I have asked this question with each cycle because I feel that some of the positive responses might be due to the “newness” of video feedback. However, since every cycle indicates a positive feeling toward the use of video feedback I may not need to repeat the question. I believe I will continue to keep this question as a baseline to ensure these positive responses were not solely excitement about new technologies, and that the enthusiasm carries on throughout the assessments. I was surprised that more students did not prefer having the rubric first. This may be due to my personal preferences, but I would prefer to know what is expected at the beginning of the project rather than the end. This could also be a result of the students having already seen the rubric in the previous cycle, so it was surprise to them. Finally, they may not have been concerned about the rubric because an art
course is graded pass/fail, so they did not consider the possibility of failure as long as they completed the assignment. Of the students who responded, 25% stated that the categories of the rubric could be clearer. This result shows that the rubric has been well constructed but improvements can still be made. As a teacher my goal should be that all of my instructions and evaluations are clear to every student. Therefore, I am glad that the categories are at least understandable, but I need to work on making them clearer in the future. However I need to continue editing the rubric and re-poll my students to make sure that the clarification is enough, and that the scales are still appropriate with the improved categories. A rubric is only categories and scales and the majority of my students prefer the 1-5 scale of the rubric, so I will continue to base the tool around those values. When asked if the rubric was the correct tool to assess student artwork, one respondent stated that rubrics are a limiting force. I agreed with this statement, and it is one of the founding bases for my action research. I believe that paring the rubric with video feedback does a better job of addressing all of the nuances of the artwork, and prevents or lessens the limiting nature of the rubric. This statement indicated that I needed to either in more detail that the rubric is a guide and it adds meaningful structure to the assessment, or I need to find a tool that is more appropriate than a rubric. I will explain to my class again that the rubric is for general structure and in the meantime I will look for other alternatives to its use. The final questions on the survey asked for other thoughts that the students might have on the use of rubrics in screencasting. One student indicated that it was helpful. Another student suggested that it does a good job showing what they did well, but people did not use it much until after the score was on it. One student suggested that there should be a space for me to write out what I discuss in the podcast. Moving forward I hope to modify my rubric to increase clarity, and add the written version of my thoughts to the bottom of the rubric. Average length of recording 3:00
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