The Rubric’s Trail

Several years ago, when I was the Director of the Learning Resource Program at the School of Extended Education at St. Mary’s College of California, I developed a college-level writing rubric. I am certain that I used some other rubrics in my massive collection to inform my composition of this one, so it wasn’t entirely my creation, and I am even more certain that several of my good-thinking SEED colleagues had input into its creation as well. At some point in my travels, I likely used the rubric in a workshop or at a conference, and I must have put it “out there” electronically as well. In some way, some 7-8 years later, this little pup seems to have found a digital home – the website of Bakersfield College.  (Click HERE to see it if you’re interested. )

What’s interesting to me is that in the last year, I’ve been contacted by four people — people I do not know — who have tracked down that rubric online (and subsequently tracked me down too) and have wanted to use it. One wanted to put it in a book she’s writing for college students, one wanted to use it as part of a writing course she’s developing, one wanted to use it as part of a research project to support the writing skill development of mechanical engineers, and one wanted to place a link to it on her university’s writing center website. In addition to these folks and the faculty at Bakersfield College, who are also apparently using it, it’s entirely possible that other folks are using it too. (And, frankly, is totally ok with me that they’ve not asked for permission because I doubt that I can take full credit for it anyway!)

Thanks to horizontal.integration on Flickr for making this image - "trail break" - available.

I have given my permission to these four, of course, because hey — why not share it? I mean, I also brought it with me to Marylhurst and it informed the university writing rubric that we use here now. My take on these things is simple: if it’s useful toward supporting learning — which all good rubrics should be — then by all means, use it! Be my guest!

But man! That old rubric of mine has been around the block, and apparently, continues to go to interesting places. And I am so happy for it. I only wish it could take me along on its journeys. If I could track its trail, and forge new ones with it, that would be really cool.

But instead I’ll act like the mama bird pushing her baby out of the nest.  Fly, rubric, fly. Fly far, far away from home. Go to interesting places; see amazing things; do good work; support and help others. But please, as you continue on these trails — old and new — please, do so only in the name of learning.


6 thoughts on “The Rubric’s Trail

  1. Pingback: Planning Your Learning Visit « PrattleNog

  2. Aloha! I like your rubric too! I’m teaching writing at the University of Hawaii near Kona, Hawaii.. I wonder if you would give me permission to use it and also give me the password associated with it (or an unprotected version, preferably in Word), so that I can modify it slightly. It is by far the best rubric I have seen!

    Thanks so much,
    Betsy Morrigan

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