Before I start, I must say that I cannot take credit for this source rubric, but I think it's a great idea!
So. You assign a research paper to your class, and you tell them that you want them to use good resources in their paper. You tell them that you want to see in their bibliography no Wikipedia, vetted sources, and you push them to use the databases your library provides.
But lets get real. Do you really look at each bibliography in great detail? Or do you just glance at it quickly? Or maybe you have a TA look through them. Point being. . . . .how can you have a better system to make sure that each student is using good resource and doing good research?
Bring in this source rubric.
Again, I cannot take credit for creating this rubric. That must go to the lovely librarian down at Oak Ridge High School, Donna Martin. However, I have edited it to fit in with what we do at Ponderosa. And so can you!
Basically, the idea is that instead of just telling students "You need to use good websites!" instead you tell them they need to get a certain amount of points for their sources. For example, perhaps a short research project required 25 source points. The students are allowed to get those points however they would like. But if you were a student, what would you do? Gather just 5 articles from databases or print resources? Or get 25 Wikipedia pages?
Teachers can even have students fill in the types of resources they used on this rubric as they hand in their project. Or perhaps they can write in the point value of each resource on their bibliography. Then a teacher only has to double check their work.
High school students take to this idea very well! They want to get those big point resource points!
You can get your own copy HERE of the source rubric. Adapt it to what your library or classroom does. Make it your own and watch the students start to think more about the sources they are using.
Jennifer Zimny has been a teacher librarian at Ponderosa High School for the past three years and previous to that, she was the drama teacher for 9 years. She holds a BA in Theatre from CSUS, a teaching credential in English, and a teaching credential in Library Media Services from Azusa Pacific University
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