Quick Lab and Activity Assessments

I would like to include a rubric when students are completing various labs and activities in science. Could you share any examples?
– A., Iowa

I have found that checklists, in particular, are good assessment tools during a lab. The objective is to quickly assess and record student performance while still monitoring the lab as you circulate the room and answer questions.

Most textbooks and lab manuals include generic checklists and rubrics for assessing lab skills and maintaining safety. Streamline the checklist by incorporating it with a class list. I would often copy checklists on colored paper and carry it around on a clipboard. You can align it with curricular goals by listing the specific learning outcomes. A ‘checklist’ doesn’t have to be tick-boxes – it could be a Likert-type scale or a quick numbering system (as simple as 1-2-3). Incorporate space for comments.

A quick search of NSTA’s The Learning Center came up with a few sample chapters that might be useful:

4Teachers (https://goo.gl/3QHVUa) offers a pretty good checklist generator with some built-in items that you can select, edit, and augment. (After you select the appropriate grade level under the Science heading, check out the option for Experimental Research.) I would even give students the checklists to self-assess after cleanup.

This same website also has an excellent rubric maker: rubistar.4teachers.org. This website revolutionized the way I teach because I could generate an assessment rubric for almost any type of activity I could think of: reports, posters, brochures, public service announcements, videos, and more. I would never have considered doing debates in biology if it weren’t for this website. As for your specific needs: under the Science heading there is a Lab Report item that contains some lab safety assessment options. Group work rubrics can be generated as well.

Hope this helps!

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