Thomas L. Buck's "Rubrics 4 Assessment"
About this Website
During the 2000-2001 academic year at Marshall
School of Duluth, as part of the Teacher Assessment
Committee, I conducted a literature review of current
research, as well as local, state, and national teacher
and instruction assessment tools and standards. Throughout
the course of the 2000-2001 school year, I gathered
and archived many useful research based systems for
evaluating curricula, instructors, technology and students.
For me, one of the more interesting approaches to assessment
was that of authentic assessment tools.
The rubric is one authentic assessment tool which is
designed to simulate real life activity where students
and instructors participate in solving real-life problems.
It is a formative type of assessment because it becomes
an ongoing part of the whole teaching and learning process.
Students themselves are involved in the assessment process
through both peer and self-assessment. As students become
familiar with rubrics, they can assist in the rubric
design process. This involvement empowers the students
and as a result, their learning becomes more focused
and self-directed. Authentic assessment, therefore,
blurs the lines between teaching, learning, and assessment.
Since initially constructing this website in 2002,
its goal has has evloved to include not only these
authentic assessment tools, but to describe instructional
design, curriculum development, and assessment techniques
that I have adopted, as well as to provide learning
and assessment resources designed especially with these
objectives in mind.
About My Background
Some of my most challenging educational goals include
enhancing critical thinking, encouraging both self-esteem
and the acceptance of others, and improving interpersonal
I have taught all grades, K-12, as well as undergraduate,
graduate and adult courses. My 30+ years experience
in Education ranges from teaching middle school Math/Science
in the regular classroom to holding instructional design workshops, and mentored
college faculty in course design, accessibility, and accelerated
My academic credentials include completing a BA in
History/Philosophy (double major) at the University of
Minnesota, Duluth in 1985, followed by an MS in Curriculum
and Instruction (1996) at Portland State University, a PhD
in Educational Psychology and Applied Information Systems
(2004) from Walden University, as well as both an MBA (2017)
in Rural Healthcare and an MS (2021) in Health Informatics
at the College of St. Scholastica.
My areas of curriculum development and instructional design expertise include elementary,
secondary, and post-seconday education, computer science, educational technologies,
educational webpage design, and multicultural studies.
Current Research Agenda
My research work is three-fold, (i) STEM curriculum development
through applied technologies; (ii) web-based assessment
tools and educational game design; and, (iii) information
systems, e-commerce and cultural entrepreneurship.
And, currently my projects include developing and maintaining
the Learning Games (
www.learningames.net/) and the Rubrics for Assessment
websites, co-authoring online authentic portfolio systems,
as well as working with the MN Judicial Branch 6th District Court
in developing and authoring an online DWI screening and referral tool
In addition, another one of my passions is my research on
Japanese and Chinese history, philosophy and fine arts. As part of my work
as a cultural entrepreneur and conservator of East Asian
historical & cultural artifacts, I developed and maintain the
research and services website, www.tsukamaki.net).
Published Books and Reference Materials
Learning and Instructional Design: focusing on the developmental
principles of educational psychology, game design, gender role theory,
and assessment. Specifically, my research work is two-fold, web-based
assessment tools and educational game design:
From May 2016,
Computer Information Systems: Case Studies,
like E-Commerce for New Enterprises, is part of an on-going
curriculum and simulations development project between
Learning-Games.net, and examines the field of information
systems analysis through case simulations and RPG scenarios that
are based on real-life scenarios found in performance and
management information systems.
- East Asian
History and Culture: focusing on Japanese sword history,
restoration and preservation.
From June 2015,
Historic Japanese Swords and Fittings: A Collection of Restored
and Translated 19th Century Manuscripts,
In this work I present 81 digitally restored early to
mid-nineteenth century manuscripts that cataloged both drawings
and measurements of historically significant Japanese swords
from the Ancient Period (before 794) to mid-Edo Period (until
the 1780s). Beginning with an overview of of the evolution of
Japanese samurai swords, this work also contains translations,
descriptions and information about the then current locations of
the listed swords and their previous owners. The book ends with
a comprehensive glossary of sword terms and definitions.