Creating Rubrics for Student Multimedia Projects

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Multimedia projects can be a fun and engaging way to learn new content.  In addition, they can serve as evidence for Program Reviews, help bring the 21st Century Skills of creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration to your classroom, and meet a number of ISTE’s Technology Standards for Students.  Perhaps most importantly, student created multimedia projects serve as an alternative assessment for student learning.  For class projects to meet any of these goals, however, the teacher must have the end in mind and develop one or more rubrics before the project is begun.

Well-designed rubrics are critical to a successful project because they serve as a guide for both the teacher and the students.  In developing rubrics in advance, the teacher makes explicit what criteria within the project will serve as evidence of student learning and creates a record of his or her expectations that can be revised to meet the realities of the class environment.  Having the rubric in advance also helps students because it allows them to assume responsibility for their own learning and makes formative assessment and self-evaluation a natural part of instruction.

Five Tips for Creating Rubrics

  1. Make sure you feel comfortable determining whether students have met the criteria used in the rubric. For example, creativity is a desirable quality, but it is hard to quantify.  In contrast, you may feel more comfortable determining whether a central theme or approach is original.  2
  2. Be as specific as possible. For example, “no more than three major grammatical errors” is much easier to score than “uses appropriate grammatical conventions.”
  3. Look at some other examples of rubrics, but always tailor the rubric to meet your expectations of student learning and behavior.
  4. Consider creating more than one rubric for an assignment.  For example, you can create one rubric that addresses the content you would like students to learn and one for the use of technology to create the project.  You might also consider a separate rubric for group work.  The students receive a grade for each rubric, clarifying where they were successful and where they need improvement.
  5. Finally, be patient with the process of trying something new.  Whenever you assign a project to students you learn more about what guidance and structure is needed for students to be successful.  The next time you assign the project, this new understanding can be incorporated into your rubric.

For more guidance and for sample rubrics, visit the Buck Institute for Education’s rubric page.

Powtoon, Piktochart, or Prezi?

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Thanks to everyone who attended the KET Multimedia Event this year!!  I always enjoy participating and learn so much from the other presenters and attendees!

My presentation this year compared three tools for visual communication: Powtoon, Piktochart, and Prezi. I created my presentation with Piktochart and was surprised at how useful the “presentation mode” was. You simply flip through the blocks you created while building the infographic, easily visit the links, and return to the presentation as needed. Some of my blocks were a bit too vertical in nature which means they did not use the screen space as effectively as possible and the text was a bit small, something I will be sure to take into consideration next time I make a Piktochart infographic.

My comments about all three tools are included in the infographic along with some great samples and some tips about integrating these tools into instruction.  Enjoy!


2014 KET Young Writers Contest Winners!

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Young Writers Banner

Thank you to all who entered the 2014 Young Writers Contest!!! This year’s contest was a great success with a total of 548 entries! You can now download and view the 2014 winning entries by visiting

Here is the complete list of 2014 winners:

Short Stories

My Teacher’s Secret Life by Carley R.
McCracken County
Third Grade, First Place

Working My Way Up by Kennedy B.
Jefferson County
Third Grade, Second Place

The Wizards of the World by Benjamin M.
Third Grade, Third Place

Flower Fiasco by Abby K.
Kenton County
Fourth Grade, First Place

Lonely Lily by Paige F.
Fourth Grade, Second Place

Glass Ball by Hannelore T.
Jefferson County
Fourth Grade, Third Place

My Sock Puppet by Ava C.
McCracken County
Fifth Grade, First Place

Mysterious Mansion by Camryn S.
Meade County
Fifth Grade, Second Place

Dog Dreams by Whitney C.
Bell County
Fifth Grade, Third Place

Illustrated Stories

Charlotte, the Lovely Princess by Zunairah S.
Jefferson County
Kindergarten, First Place

The Rainbow Unicorn by Piper S.
Jessamine County
Kindergarten, Second Place

Animal Fun in Outer Space by Lilly A.
Kindergarten, Third Place

Cassidy and Her Duck by Cameron H.
First Grade, First Place

The Farmer and the Red-Tailed Hawk by Charles W.
Oldham County
First Grade, Second Place

The Sunflower by Jillian S.
New Albany, IN
First Grade, Third Place

Friendship… The Dolphin Way by Jilia M.
Oldham County
Second Grade, First Place

Cy Monster by Luke G.
Clay County
Second Grade, Second Place

Sleep Dust by Avery S.
Jessamine County
Second Grade, Third Place

Bubbly is Back by Tiyasa C.
Cincinnati, OH
Third Grade, First Place

Waddle’s Adventure by Kaja J.
Third Grade, Second Place

The Butterfly Blues by Kaydence W.
Palmyra, IN
Third Grade, Third Place

Water and Winter Do Not Go Together by Willow T.
Jefferson County
Fourth Grade, First Place

Elevation by Amelia F.
Clay County
Fourth Grade, Second Place

Merrmilina and Her Friends by Ruth E.
Fourth Grade, Third Place

The Adventures of Sheriff Meatball by Raygen B.
Boone County
Fifth Grade, First Place

Owlie Whoooot Helps the Three Little Puppies by Sarah P.
Fleming County
Fifth Grade, Second Place

Why Penguins Waddle by Hannah R.
Science Hill
Fifth Grade, Third Place

We hope you will continue to encourage your young writers and illustrators and look forward to reading more great stories in 2015!

Best regards,

600 Cooper Drive, Lexington, KY 40502 (859) 258-7000 (800) 432-0951