ERIC Number: ED411274
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Jan-25
Empowering Students through Negotiable Contracting.
An approach to assessment is described that allows students to understand and help decide the criteria for good work. It is called "negotiable contracting." Negotiable contracting consists of giving students shared ownership in their own learning. The teacher serves as a facilitator of discussion of the assessment process. Students and the teachers work together to define what they think is quality work. The rubric is an important part of using negotiable contracting for formal assessment. A rubric is a carefully designed ratings chart that is drawn up jointly by the teacher and students. Along one side of the rubric are the criteria that both parties decide are the most important ideas to be mastered in the lesson, and across the top are the rankings that are used to decide how well the students understand each criterion. Within each ranking there may be numerical gradations. Rubrics can be especially effective in assessing student work in mathematics or in any area that requires problem solving. An example is given of the use of negotiable contracting in a poetry unit. Rubrics offer an important way for educators to motivate students through assessment. Giving students a voice in their grading provides them with a clear understanding of what is expected of them and the assurance that their accomplishments will be recognized. (Contains 4 tables and 13 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Cooperative Learning, Educational Assessment, Grading, Intermediate Grades, Junior High Schools, Middle Schools, Parent Participation, Participative Decision Making, Performance Contracts, Portfolio Assessment, Rating Scales, Reinforcement, Scoring Rubrics, Student Empowerment, Student Participation
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the National Middle School Initiative Conference (Long Island, NY, January 25, 1997). For related document, see TM 027 246.