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 effectiveness.

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 instruction.

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 (www.rubrics4assessment.net/) 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 (www.duluthsbirt.net).

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
  • Digital 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:

    My most recent publication (April, 2017), E-Commerce for New Enterprises: Lessons & Select Case Studies, is a co-authored work written by me (the lessons and text) and my students (the case studies) as part of an on-going curriculum and simulations development project between The College of Saint Scholastica’s School of Business and Technology (SBT) and Learning-Games.net, and is designed to help students explore the field of E-commerce for new enterprises through case simulations and role-playing game (RPG) scenarios based on real-world online storefronts, virtual world startups, market needs, web hosting services, security and privacy measures, and new online product promotions set for the real world.

    From June 2016, Learning in Cyber-space: A guide to Authentic Assessment Tools for web-based instruction, Fourth Edition, is designed to be a guide for online instructors, showing them how to access and effectively use current Authentic Assessment tools designed to help them reach their educational goals. These tools include alternative and preformance-based assessment; technology rubrics; rubric builders for web-based instruction; as well as electronic portfolios and graphic organizers.

    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 SBT and 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.
    In addition, my three previously published books The Art of Tsukamaki, Ancient Japanese Swords and Fittings, and, Across the Spectrum: Historical Trends in Japanese Lacquer-ware, are available both in hardcopy, as well as on Kindle in ebook formats. Ancient Japanese Swords and Fittings Across the Spectrum The Art of Tsukamaki
    (click on an image to enlarge)

Professional Affiliations