ForAllRubrics How To: Student Journals

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The student journal is the communication center for student accounts on ForAllRubrics.  When a student first logs in, she sees her journal.  In the example below, the top entry is a journal entry that was added by the student Lola about her experience presenting her project at the science fair.

Student Journal 1

Teachers can view the journal for any of their students by clicking on the “journal” icon on the MY CLASS page.Journal Icon

When a teacher completes a rubric for a student, the results appear in the student’s journal.  Below you can see that the “Demo Teacher” assessed the student with the “Free Art” rubric.  The teacher’s comments that were entered while the scoring the rubric are displayed to the student.

rubric in journal

When the student is viewing the information about the completed rubric, they can:

  • choose to see the details of the rubrics by clicking on “View Rubric Results,”
  • add their own comments and
  • personalize the image associated with the rubric.

Journal - Student Activities

If the student clicks on “View Rubric Results,” they are taken to a print view of the scored rubric where they have the option to either download the scored rubric as a pdf or send the scored rubric to a printer.

view rubric results

Our student Lola, has added a comment and personalized the badge by making a photo of her artwork the image.

journal - student comment & image

This quick introduction to the Student Journal should help you get started with using ForAllRubrics to communicate with your students.  For more information on setting up student accounts, take a look at the post ForAllRubrics How To: Setting Up Your Roster.  There are more posts on the way, including information on how ForAllRubrics supports self- and peer- assessment for students.

ForAllRubrics How To: Assessing Your Students

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So you’ve signed up for a free teacher account on ForAllRubrics and you’re wondering, “What do I do now?” This is part of a short series of posts on how to get started with the basic features of ForAllRubrics.  The posts in this series are:

  1. ForAllRubrics How To:  Setting Up Your Roster
  2. ForAllRubrics How To:  Setting Up Your Rubrics
  3. ForAllRubrics How To:  Assessing Your Students (this post)

The simplest approach to assessing your students with ForAllRubrics is via the online website.  Click on the My Class link in the menu bar and then select the rubric you want to work with.  To start the assessment, click on the  plus next to the student that you would like to assess.

My Class

On your rubric, you score the student by simply clicking on the appropriate box in the rubric.  The score will be calculated for you automatically.  You can add comments for the whole rubric or for individual items.  You can also record an activity name.

scoring

When you click on the Done button or click on the My Class button, you will see the results of the assessment you just completed in the class overview.  In the class table, you’ll see

  1. The date of the most recent assessment for the student.  If you click on the date, it will show you the actual completed rubric.
  2. The student’s score on the rubric.  Any items that weren’t  scored will be considered “N/A, not applicable” and won’t be included in the total possible points.
  3. The computed percentage on the rubric.  Any items that weren’t scored will be considered “N/A, not applicable” and won’t be included in the computation of the percentage.
  4. How many of the items were scored.  If all the items were scored, a “check”.
  5. An icon to print the completed rubric.
  6. An icon to email the complete rubric to the emails associated with the student’s account (specified on the Admin/Manage Students page).
  7. An icon to access the student’s journal.
  8. An icon to delete the most recent completed rubric.


Overview

On the My Class page, you can also Print or Email all your students’ completed rubrics in bulk or just selected students.

bulk

If you want to switch which rubric you’re working with, just click on the new rubric in the My Rubrics dialog.

switch rubric

There are a lot more capabilities in ForAllRubrics, but hopefully this quick introduction will be enough for you to get started!  While you’re working on ForAllRubrics, you can learn more by accessing our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) or our Message Board.  We also regularly post helpful information on the ForAllSystems Blog and via our twitter account @forallrubrics.

ForAllRubrics How To: Setting Up Your Roster

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So you’ve signed up for a free teacher account on ForAllRubrics and you’re wondering, “What do I do now?” This is part of a short series of posts on how to get started with the basic features of ForAllRubrics.  The posts in this series are:

  1. ForAllRubrics How To:  Setting Up Your Roster (this post)
  2. ForAllRubrics How To:  Setting Up Your Rubrics
  3. ForAllRubrics How To:  Assessing Your Students

When you first login with your ForAllRubrics account, you’ll see something like the screen below.

Teacher-Home Screen

The first thing you’ll want to do is to add some students to your roster.  There are two easy ways to do this.  In the image below you can see how you can choose between:

  1. setting up your student roster by clicking on “Admin->Manage Students
  2. doing a quick add for students by clicking on “+ Add a Student

Add Students

To add a student, you will need to complete the information shown below.

Numeric Student Info

  1. The Student ID is a unique identifier for the student and allows them to be matched between classes
  2. A First Name is required
  3. A Last Name is required
  4. If you enter an Email Address, it will allow features such as emailing completed rubrics to students as well as an additional way to match students between classes
  5. When a student turns 13 they are permitted to push badges to their Backpack
  6. The Additional Email Addresses are for parents, guardians or others to support features such as emailing completed rubrics
  7. If you enter a Mobile Number it will be possible to send SMS messages to the number entered

Now that your Student Roster is set up, you are ready for:  ForAllRubrics How To:  Setting Up Your Rubrics

ForAllRubrics How To: Setting Up Your Rubrics

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So you’ve signed up for a free teacher account on ForAllRubrics and you’re wondering, “What do I do now?” This is part of a short series of posts on how to get started with the basic features of ForAllRubrics.  The posts in this series are:

  1. ForAllRubrics How To:  Setting Up Your Roster
  2. ForAllRubrics How To:  Setting Up Your Rubrics (this post)
  3. ForAllRubrics How To:  Assessing Your Students

To create your own rubric, click on the DESIGN link in the menu bar and then click on the Add button.

Adding Rubric

Select how you would like to score.  Choices include Rubric, Checklist or a Basic Badge. For this demo we will select Rubric.

Score Selection

To start, make sure you are on the Basic Editing page.  On this page, you will see the current version of your new rubric.  You can edit any field with a dotted-underline by simply clicking on it and typing in the new text.  As shown below, you will want to customize your Rubric Title, the Item Descriptions and the Criteria for Ratings.

Rubric Description

As shown below, you can also customize the Ratings Descriptions and the Points for each Rating as well as selecting colors for each column.      

Editing Items

You can also Add a RatingDelete a RatingCopy an ItemDelete an Item or Add Multiple Items.

add-delete

Once you are happy with your rubric, you can either print your rubric by clicking on the Print button or click on the Done button and go to the Manage Rubrics page.

Print-Done

If you clicked on the Print button, it will take you to the Print page, where you can save your rubric as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file or print the rubric on your printer.

Print Page

If you clicked on the Done button, it will take you back to the Manage Rubrics page, where you will now see your new rubric along with the three sample rubrics that we initial put in your rubrics collection.  From this page, you can easily:

  1. Edit a rubric
  2. Make a copy of a rubric
  3. Print a rubric
  4. Download a rubric as a spreadsheet file
  5. Share a rubric in the Library
  6. Archive a rubric (you can always get it back)
  7. Delete a rubric (you can’t get it back)

Manage Rubrics

Now when you go back to the My Class page, you will see your new rubric listed as one of the rubrics.

My Class

You are now ready to go on to:  ForAllRubrics How To:  Assessing Your Students.

New Features in ForAllRubrics

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We’ve released some exciting new features:

  • New Rubric Standards Report
    (automatically created with the standards that appear in the rubric)
  • Rearrange columns and rows
  • Assign ratings with decimal values
  • Standards alignment with the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence
  • Simplified Custom Standards Report
  • Simplified badge editing with basic/advanced mode

Documentation for the trickier features are provided below.  Please keep the feedback coming!


Rubric Standards Report

1.  Choose a rubric that is aligned with standards.

Screen Shot 2013-05-29 at 4.13.22 PM

2.  Go to the Rubric Standards Report.

Screen Shot 2013-05-29 at 4.18.12 PM

3.  Report is automatically generated for the standards that appear in the rubric.

Screen Shot 2013-05-29 at 4.21.08 PM


Rearrange columns and rows

FAR-move-cols-rows


Assign ratings with decimal values

FAR-Decimal-Ratings


ForAllRubrics Now Supports Alignment with the Australian Curriculum

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We are very excited to announce that teachers can now use ForAllRubrics to work with rubrics aligned with the Australian Curriculum in addition to the existing support for the Common Core State Standards.

Australian Curriculum


Standards Based Reporting With the Standards Report, you can easily view the individual levels of achievement for all the students in your class.

StandardsReport


Alignment of Rubrics. In advanced editing mode, you can align your whole rubric to one or more standards.

StandardByRubric


Alignment of Rubrics. You can also align individual items within your rubric to one or more standards.

StandardByItem


Alignment of Rubrics. You can customize the level of achievement for the ratings in your rubric (red, yellow or green).

LevelsOfAcheivement


A big thank you to all the Australian teachers using ForAllRubrics! We really appreciate your enthusiasm and support. We hope these new features are helpful to you in your classroom.

Openness and Open Badge Platforms

At the February 6th Mozilla Open Badges Community Call, Chris Lawrence from the Hive Learning Network brought up the issue of  Badge Platforms not supporting open sharing.  Since Mozilla Open Badges are still very new, it isn’t very surprising that Badge Platforms are not yet interoperable.  Most of the badge platforms are still very much works in progress.  All of these badge platforms that support Mozilla Open Badges, do at least, allow learners to send the badge awards they earn to the Open Badge Backpack.

Since that discussion, we’ve been thinking about what openness means for us and ForAllBadges.  We came up with some ideals about what openness would mean to us:

  • affordable:  Preferably free.
  • open source:  With a current version of source code available on a public site.
  • accessible:  All users can access and use the software on their own.
  • private: By default no access is available to a user’s personal information and the user controls any access to their personal information.
  • transferable: Users own their own badge designs and award data and have the ability to easily download all their data in a reasonable format.

Once an organization chooses a badge platform, what issues lock the organization into their current badge platform and make it difficult to switch to another badge platform?

  1. Badge system designs.  At the current time there isn’t a standard way to export your badge system designs from one badge platform and  import the badge system design for use on another Badge Platform.  If you want to move your badge system from the badge platform you’re currently using, you would need to re-enter it by hand.
  2. Badge award data.  As you issue badges, the badge award information is stored by the Badge Platform in their database.  Right now there isn’t a standard way to export the award information and migrate the data to a new Badge Platform.  It can be very difficult to retrieve information about who you have issued badge awards too and which badges have been earned.
  3. The Open Backpack.  As I understand how the Open Backpack works (please let me know if I’m wrong), once you issue an award to a badge earner, you don’t have anyway to change the url for the badge assertion.  If you’re using a badge platform, it seems this means you’re permanently committed to the badge platform that you used to issue the badge.

We still have a lot more thoughts about Openness and Open Badges, but think I’ll put those thoughts in future posts since we’re eager to hear what openness for Open Badge Platforms means to others.

Badges How to: Using Your Classroom Rubrics to Design a Badge System

Recently teachers and administrators have been asking us for ideas on how to go about implementing badges in their own schools.  In this post, I’m going to describe two approaches for how to take existing classroom rubrics and design complimentary badge systems.  This approach has several advantages:

  • a significant part of the work necessary for designing the badge system has already been done in developing the rubric,
  • teachers can continue to assess students with a proven rubric and
  • the badge system integrates well with the existing learning activities.

Approach 1:  Recognize Skills and Achievements

A primary motivation for Mozilla’s development of Open Badges was in order to recognize skills and achievements that aren’t traditionally recognized.

openbadges

Teachers in areas such as Physical Education, Technology, Special Education and Art are already seeing the value of badges for recognizing their students’ achievements.  This approach is to creating a badge system is demonstrated by Warren Grieve in his ICT Ladders for Badges.  Below is an example rubric he previously developed for evaluating skills with MIT’s Scratch programming language.

Scratch-Rubric

Below are the complementary badges that he designed for ICT Ladders for Badges that correspond to each of the levels of achievement in the rubric.  The criteria for earning a badge is the same as the criteria specified in the original rubric.

basic_scratch_skills_badgeproficient_scratch_skills_badgeadvanced_scratch_skills_badgeexpert_scratch_skills_badge

Like with girl scout badges, this type of badge system provides students a way to:

  • set goals by identifying badges to work towards,
  • reflect on the goals they’ve already reached and
  • share their accomplishments with others.

Approach 2:  Scaffold Learning

A common use for rubrics in the classroom is for supporting student learning and development.  This kind of instructional rubric is typically written in student-friendly language to help students evaluate their own work and improve overtime.  This use of rubrics is well demonstrated by the set of rubrics provided by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to support student learning for effectively solving math word problems.  This set of rubrics includes a scoring rubric for use by the teacher and three age appropriate versions of the rubric for use by students.

The  rubric below is the scoring rubric for use by elementary school teachers to inform instruction.  (click on the rubric for a larger image)

Scoring-Rubric

The  rubric below is the instructional rubric for use by 3rd and 4th grade students to support learning.  (click on the rubric for a larger image)

Student-Rubric

The process of learning how to solve math word problems is an ongoing learning activity and requires a significant amount of practice and feedback.  The student friendly rubric is effective at making it clear to students what the expectations are for this learning activity.

In our design for a set of badges that correspond to ISBE’s student friendly rubric, the first change we made was to convert the “Items for Evaluation”  in the original rubric to “Roles to Achieve” in the badge system as follows:

  • Mathematical Knowledge (Do you know it?) —> Math Wizard
  • Strategic Knowledge (How do you plan?) —> Master Detective
  • Explanation (Can you explain it?) —> Expert Explainer

The second change we made was to eliminate the score of zero.  By its nature, badge criteria is positive.  Although it makes sense to award a score of zero if the student doesn’t attempt an answer.  It doesn’t make as much sense to award a badge for doing nothing.

Below is what our initial badges look like.

Student_Badges

The last change we made was to convert the scoring guidelines to badge criteria by removing negative scoring guidelines, since the negative guidelines are implicitly included in the leveled badges.  Below is the the criteria for Math Wizard badges including the struck out text from the original Grade 3-4 Student Rubric for Mathematical Knowledge.

Level 4 Badge Criteria (the same as for scoring rubric)

  • I get the right answer.
  • I label my answer correctly.
  • I use the right math words to show I understand how math works. (Example: I know when to add or subtract.)
  • I work it out with no mistakes.

Level 3 Badge Criteria (almost the same as for scoring rubric)

  • I do the problem, but I and only make small mistakes.

Level 2 Badge Criteria 

  • I understand a little, but I make a lot of big mistakes.
  • I only give part of the answer.

Level 1 Badge Criteria

  • I try to do the problem, but I don’t understand it.

Level 0 – Badge Criteria (no such badge)

  • I don’t try to answer the problem.

With the development of our badge system, we now have three different views of the assessment that all work well together:

  • the teacher scoring rubric for assessing the student’s progress,
  • the student instructional rubric for understanding the expectations and
  • the student badge system for visualizing the learning path.

ForAllRubrics + Badges

We’re in the process of developing a new version of ForAllRubrics that supports both Rubrics and Badges.  This new version will support a badge design process like what has been described in this post.  It will let teachers complete scoring rubrics and the system will automatically generate the appropriate badges for the students.  The students (and their parents) will be able to view the student friendly rubric to understand the scoring on a particular assignment.  The teacher, the student and their parents can view the student’s awarded badges to reflect on the student’s accomplishments to date and view potential badges for setting goals for the future.

If you’re interested helping us test out our new “ForAllRubrics + Badges” and giving us feedback, please send us an email to info@forallsystems.com and we’ll get you set up.  We greatly appreciate comments and suggestions.

New Version of ForAllBadges for iOS & Android

We are excited to announce a new version of our mobile app for ForAllBadges which is now available on both the Apple App Store & Google Play Store!

Last May we released the first version of ForAllBadges for iOS with support for the iPhone, iPod Touch & iPad.  We learned a lot from the initial pilot of the software at a Mozilla Hack Jam in Bloomington, Indiana organized by Dan Hickey and Rebecca Itow from the Center for Research on Learning and Technology at Indiana University.

Based on the very useful feedback from our pilot users, we have made a bunch of changes to the application:

2Selecting a Student 

We updated the select student screen so that now more students fit on the screen at a time and you now get an indicator for students who do not have any badges issued to them.  You can now create student accounts directly from the mobile application!


3Student Detail Page

Based on feedback from our pilot we added this page which gives you the ability to view all badges issued to the student.  You can tap on any of the badges to view details.  You can also edit the student’s information and issue a new badge.


4Selecting a Badge

The badge selection screen has been optimized to fit more content on the screen, so it’s even easier to find the badge you want to issue!


5Issuing a Badge

Just like the previous version, you can take a picture and attach it as evidence for the badge.  You can also select a photo that has been saved in the device’s photo library.


androidSupport for Android Devices

We are excited to announce that ForAllBadges now supports Android smartphones and tablets!  The app can be downloaded directly from the Google Play Store.


ForAllBadges Website Updates

In addition to all of the updates to the mobile versions of ForAllBadges, we have also made improvements to the website version of ForAllBadges:

  • Support for claim codes:  Teachers can now print stickers of claim codes for badges and award badges to students in the classroom by handing out claim codes that the students can then redeem on the website.
  • Bulk badge issuing:  Teachers can now select multiple students and issue a badge to all of them with just one click.
  • Email notifications:  When badges are issued the student can now automatically receive an email with information on how to access the badge.
As always, we love to hear feedback from our users.  Let us know what you think and if you have any ideas for features you would like to add to the application.

Mozilla Open Badges Community Call about K-12 Badge Implementation

mozilla-badges

We’re happy to have been invited to host a community call on K-12 Badge Implementation on January 14th from noon – 1 pm EST.  We’re enthusiastic about the potential for badges in K-12 schools and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to chat with like minded folks.  For information on how to join in on the call, go to the etherpad here:  https://openbadges.etherpad.mozilla.org/k12-community-conversation

Between now and January 14th, we would like to get feedback on what people would be interested in discussing at the community call.  What are the topics that would make the hour interesting and productive to you?  Here are some potential topics to start out the discussion:

  • Examples of how badges are currently being implemented for K-12
  • Feedback on your ideas about how badges could be used for K-12
  • Successes and challenges faced in implementing badges for K-12
  • Badges and student motivation
  • The relationship of badges to other assessment methods (rubrics, authentic assessment…)

Let us know your opinions and suggestions in the comment section of this blog post or on the etherpad.  Also, let us know if you would be willing to share your badge implementation experiences or ideas.