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Below is a copy of the initial rubric that we used to assess students' outlines and first drafts. Before the penultimate draft was due, we re-evaluated this rubric with our students, and created a revised rubric that students and instructors felt even more accurately captured the elements of a good curriculum case.

Education 269:  Principles of Learning for Teaching

January 2000

               Case Scoring Rubric


This rubric is not intended to force every case into a single format. We also do not intend that each of these categories be separately addressed as sections in a case. These rubrics are aspects of each case that should be included in some form.  The categories and associated questions are a checklist or guidelines for reveiwing, commenting upon, and "scoring" the quality of the case.

 The first draft will not be graded. We will offer qualitative feedback and suggestions based on this rubric. The numbers in parentheses provide an estimate of the relative importance of the category, and will be used to guide fine grading of the final draft.  We would like you to try using the rubric to "score" your own case and to assess where it may need the most work between first and final draft.  We would also be interested in your suggestions for shifting the weights assigned to particular features of your case as a function of its content, plot, etc. Try the scoring on your own case and see how well it fits with your candid estimate of how the case works as a first draft.

Scoring Rubrics

Overall:  Does the report hang together as a case? Does it have a plot, clearly described characters, a narrator whose motives, actions, reactions, and interpretations are well described? Are the events worth making into a case?  Is the content important, does the action cover more than a single lesson or interaction, is the problem, difficulty or uncertainty one that a reader can identify with?  Is the writing vivid, clear, provocative, grammatical, humorous (if intended), and compelling enough to hold a reader's interest?  Does the case teach?  Does it have the potential to stimulate other teachers to reflect on their own work, in addition to offering evidence that the case author has learned from his or her own experience? If some of these features are missing, what can you suggest to the writer to make the account more case-worthy? (15)

Context:  Does the case report specify the relevant details of the context? Who are the kids and what are their language and cultural background? Are there aspects of the community that are relevant to the case? What about the school?  Is the school tracked?  Are there features of the department that are relevant?  Where is this class in the organization of the school?  How well does the reader get a sense of the social, cultural, and organizational context of the case? (10)

Does the case describe where in the evolving curriculum of this course does the unit, episode, or set of lessons portrayed in this case occur?  What came before and where are things headed? Are there things that the kids know or don't know, strategies of learning or reading that they regularly employ or don't employ, forms or usages of language they use, that might account for how and why they will respond to the planned instruction? How, if at all, might events that have occurred earlier prefigure what will be described and analyzed in the case? (10)

 Students:  Are the students clearly described? In what terms are they described? Do they draw on the psychological, cultural, and linguistic conceptions of the course?  On other conceptions? Does the account of the students reflect a respect for the students' perceptions, goals and interests, whether congruent with the instructor's or not? (10)

 Content: What are the main ideas, themes, strategies, attitudes, etc. that initiate the instruction recounted in the case? Why are these topics important for the students? What would be so tragic if they failed to learn them? How might you characterize the kinds of learning being sought? Do Bruner's notions of structure or readiness apply? Does Bloom's taxonomy apply?  What about the conceptions of language and culture we have been discussing? (10)

 Intended Scenario:  Does the case communicate how the teacher intended for the instruction to proceed, what the expectations were for how the teaching and learning would unfold?  Is it presented clearly so that any problems, difficulties, or surprises can be understood as such?(10)

 Interactions:  This aspect of the case is key.  Does the writer reconstruct in sufficient detail the dialogues, actions, and writings of the students to provide a reader with a vivid picture of what actually happened?  Does the case writer avoid the summary evaluative description ("...and they just didn't get what I intended.") and provide a descriptive account instead? Does the account treat the class as an undifferentiated whole, or do we get some sense of the variations among students in their responses to instruction?  Did different students make different kinds of sense of the instruction? (10)

 Teacher Interpretation and reaction:  Does the case dearly describe how the teacher responded to unexpected or troubling events? What was the teacher's theory or explanation for why things went as they did?  Was there a chance to reflect on the difficulties or surprises and to make alternate plans for subsequent teaching episodes? On what basis were the new plans made? (10)

 New Interactions:  If appropriate, does the case provide a clear account of the new actions that were taken to "repair" the problem?  If not, does the case offer a plan for how the scenario for future teaching toward the same ends might unfold if and when another opportunity presented itself? Or does the case writer conclude that the ends themselves were inappropriate and that the goals, readings, or assignments were unwise for this situation? (10, if appropriate)

 Reflection, Analysis and Connection to Relevant Case Material or Theory: Having recounted the case, what does the writer make of these events in retrospect?  Does the writer examine both the selection and organization of the content as well as the acuity with which he or she adequately understood the learners as possible explanations for the case's events?  Does the writer reflect on the adequacy of the instructional "bridges" constructed to connect content and students via pedagogy?  For example, were proper representations attempted in anticipation of possible difficulties?  Were aspects of language or culture ignored or overlooked that might have made a difference?  In general, does the writer look back on the experience, connect it with other case experiences or theoretical material, and offer both an interpretation and a consideration of how the future might look different from the past?  [Some of these features may be more fully represented in the final draft of the case when more has been read, discussed and thought through] (15)

Copyright 2000, Karen Hammerness, Stanford University. All the material contained on this site has been produced by Karen Hammerness, Lee Shulman, Linda Darling-Hammond, Kay Moffett, and Misty Sato. These materials can be downloaded, printed and used with proper acknowledgement, including the name and affiliation of the authors and the web-site addess.

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