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 continued to be to share some of these authentic assessment tools, to describe the assessment techniques that I have adopted, and 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 25+ years experience in Education ranges from teaching middle school Math/Science in the regular classroom to instructing doctoral level courses in Educational Psychology & Technology. My areas of professional expertise include elementary and secondary education, computer science, curriculum development, educational technology, webpage design, East Asian history & philosophy, programming, Aand multicultural studies. Also, I have extensive course work and experience in curriculum and instruction, educational psychology, general teaching methods, special education, supervision, and multicultural education.

My research work is two-fold, (i) web-based assessment tools and educational game design; and, (ii) e-commerce and cultural entrepreneurship. In assessment tools and game design, I am conducting an on-going research project on learning styles and distance learning, focusing on the developmental principles of educational psychology, game design, gender role theory, and assessment. I have also published a number of peer reviewed studies and books on topics ranging from Learning Styles and Web-based Learning to Technology Literacy Recommendations for colleges and universities. My related published works include my book, Learning in Cyberspace: A Guide to Authentic Assessment Tools for Web-based Instruction, and my McGraw-Hill/Irwin 2014 Distinguished Papers Award winning paper, Living the Case Study: Teaching Management and Leadership Ethics Through Serious Games, published by The Society for the Advancement of Information Systems.

For me, working in education helps feed my need to discover and create, and my passion for the sharing of Knowledge. My greatest pleasures come from teaching, and research in assessment tools, distance learning curriculum design, and learning game environments.

Current Research Agenda
  • E-Commerce, Information Systems and Web-based Assessment Tools: focusing on the developmental principles of educational psychology, game design, information management, electronic commerce, digital marketing, and assessment. 

    My most recent publication (November, 2017), E-Commerce Analytics and Quantitative Methods: Lessons & Select Case Studies, is part of an on-going curriculum and simulations development project between The College of Saint Scholastica’s School of Business and Technology (SBT) and, and is designed to help students explore the field of e-commerce frameworks and metrics for collecting, measuring, analyzing, visualizing, dashboarding, optimizing, personalizing, and automating web-based sales and customer data by applying modern analytics and quantitative methods.

    Learning in Cyber-space: A guide to Authentic Assessment Tools for web-based instruction

     Below are my previous works in this series:
    • Marketing on the Internet: Lessons & Select Case Studies  is designed to help students examine mission critical digital marketing systems, show how to develop a digital marketing plan, and measure success through return on investment, and profitability.
    • E-Commerce for New Enterprises: Lessons & Select Case Studies was developed as a collaborative project with a group of my students to help other 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, and web hosting services.
    • Computer Information Systems: Case Studies 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.

    Information Systems

    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.
    Learning in Cyber-space: A guide to Authentic Assessment Tools for web-based instruction

  • East Asian History and Culture: focusing on Japanese sword history, restoration & preservation, and cultural entrepreneurship.
    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.
    Learning in Cyber-space: A guide to Authentic Assessment Tools for web-based instruction
    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. The Art of Tsukamaki Ancient Japanese Swords and Fittings Across the Spectrum
    (click on an image to enlarge)

  • Two Additional Research Projects: focusing on Japanese sword history, restoration & preservation, and cultural entrepreneurship.
    (1) I am currently working collaboratively with Dr. Richard Revoir on a Values and Ethics Game Simulation Initiative to design and incorporate serious games (simulations of real-world ethics situations and dilemmas) into our Management Ethics Course and Ethical Leadership Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). We have already made significant progress on this initiative.
    Our work has focused on:
    • Organizing sample game files and templates, hardware, software, and a list of individuals willing to help build and test our simulations;
    • Designing game development strategies and game criteria; and
    • Creating an online storage site for curriculum files and templates.
    The process of developing game content has begun, and we will continue integrating topics suggested collaboratively by St. Scholastica students, faculty, community leaders, and the Sandbulte Center for Ethical Leadership.

    (2) I am current working with the Minnesota Judicial Branch - Sixth District in the development of a computer-assisted screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT) program for DWI offenders.  Currently, as I am building of the Sixth District's PC and mobile SBIRT tools, I am hosting them on my Rubrics research site at*:
    *Note: this is a public beta-site, and none of the forms are enabled.

Professional Affiliations