Action Plan Rubric

Our assessment materials were developed by Virginia Annett, MSEd

What is a rubric?

A rubric is an authentic assessment tool designed to simulate a meaningful or real life activity. It is used as a guide to evaluate a student's performance, specific project or student work. The rubric uses a full range of criteria rather than a single score. It  is usually handed out before the assignment begins in order to get students to think about the how their work will be judged. 

Students should be involved in the assessment process. When students receive rubrics beforehand, they understand how they will be evaluated and can prepare accordingly. As they become familiar with rubrics, students can assist in the rubric design process. This involvement empowers the students and as a result, their learning becomes more focused and self-directed. 

A Rubric should contain three common features:

  • A rubric should focus on measuring a stated objective (performance, behavior, or quality).
  • A rubric should contain a range to rate performance.
  • A rubric should contain specific performance characteristics arranged in levels indicating the degree to which a standard has been met (Pickett and Dodge; see sources at bottom of page).

Here are some suggestions for things to include in an assessment rubric for Caring for the Kaw using the Action Plan notebooks as a summary of student work:

Exercise 1-What's Your Water Footprint?
  • Student was able to accurately calculate his/her Water Footprint (either individual or household annual water budget).
  • Student was able to accurately calculate how much water they use for one or more specific activities using their own observations.
  • Student was able to determine if their household uses more or less water than the average.
  • Student was able to think of at least 3 ways to reduce the amount of water they use in the home.

Exercise 2-How much Stormwater runs off your house?
  • Student was able to accurately determine how much stormwater runs off their house during a "standard" one inch rainstorm using their own area measurements.
  • Student was able to think of at least 3 ways to reduce the amount of stormwater that runs off their house and yard.

Exercise 3-Know Your Watershed

  • Student was able to determine which watershed they live in.
  • Student was able to explain what a watershed is.
  • Student was able to find out basic information about their community using the maps supplied in the lesson.

Exercise 4-Map Your Connection to the Kaw

  • Student was able to produce a basic Google Earth map containing the location of their school and the Kansas River.
  • Student was able to determine the distance between their school and the Kansas River.

Exercise 5-Your Personal Action Plan

  • Student was able to determine how they are connected to the Kaw and explain why the Kansas River is important to them.
  • Student was able to summarize ways to reduce personal home water use and to reduce stormwater running off their homes.
  • Student was able to explain why reducing water use and stormwater runoff is important for river conservation.
  • Student was able to write an individual Personal Action Plan. 


Heidi Goodrich Andrade. "Understanding Rubrics." [Online] 22 October 2001. The Advantages of Rubrics: Part One in a Five-Part Series. [Online] 22 October 2001.

Nancy Pickett and Bernie Dodge. "Rubrics for Web Lessons." [Online] 22 October 2001.

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