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Evaluating Resources - Rubrics for Students: Home

Rubrics to use for evaluating resources, evaluating bibliographies. etc.

What is a rubric?

A rubric is an explicit set of criteria used for assessing a particular type of work or performance. A rubric usually also includes levels of potential achievement for each criterion, and sometimes also includes work or performance samples that typify each of those levels. Levels of achievement are often given numerical scores. A summary score for the work being assessed may be produced by adding the scores for each criterion. The rubric may also include space for the judge to describe the reasons for each judgment or to make suggestions for the author.

The Google Habit

In Fall 2012, Librarians Tracey Amey and Judy Zebrowski released Library Confidential, a series of online newsletters and workshops that looked at the very real, and very changing, information seeking skills of today's students. Library Confidential is designed to educate faculty on very current issues about research skills, information literacy and critical thinking, that directly impact students' research behavior and skill development.

The inagural issue of Library Confidential highlighted "The Google Habit: the Hidden Struggle," a in-depth look at the reasons why students have come to use and rely on Google for so much of their research. Let's quickly review the highlights of those reasons because these form the reasons why rubrics can work so well for helping students reach beyond the Google Habit. They are:

Google Head

  • repeated and consistent success
  • ease of use
  • ignorance of other places to search for resource

The problem is this habit has side effects:

  • inability to discern different types of resources (blog comments, articles, etc.)
  • overestimation of research skills
  • easily overwhelmed by a true research database

Why a rubric?

"Rubrics possess the dual purpose of both educating students and evaluating their work." (Huba and Freed, p. 155)

  Huba, Mary E, and Jann E. Freed. Learner-centered Assessment on College Campuses: Shifting the Focus from Teaching to Learning. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2000. Print.

Penn College's SAILS results

From the Middle States Self-Study final report:

SAILS (Standardized Assessment of Information Literacy Skills)

o Students out-performed the benchmark on the “Documenting Sources” skill set. 
o The “Evaluating Sources” skill setis an area identified for additional attention.
o Students performed at an equivalent-to-benchmarks level on seven additional skill sets

SAILS logo