Curriculum Planning and Design

The Powerpoint presentation composed by Peter Gow pretty much complements with the curriculum design i have written, i have been following his posts in the slideshare and found it to be very much interesting. The tidbits he discussed in his curriculum design are very important considerations in constructing a good curriculum.

In designing a curriculum, one important thing to remember is this…

A strong curriculum must also have a solid OBJECTIVES, which would clearly state desired Performance expected to the learner, the Condition that would allow the learner to perform as expected and the Criteria that would provide the learner the scope of the Learning Task expected of them.

This Solid Objectives would provide a simple roadmap for the entire curriculum, the type of instructional strategies that would be adopted would entirely depend on the intent of the curriculum designer as stated in the Objectives. It must therefore,be aligned to it since the instructional strategies used were simply adopted in order to achieved the goals of the curriculum.

A clearly stated Solid Objectives would likewise dictate the Assessment to be used in order to measure the learners extent of knowledge. In the past, Assessment is only confined to the number of correct answers versus the wrong, a duality approach to measuring the learners skills derived from the curriculum. Thus, overshadowing a bigger and wider scope of the learners performance, duality approach does not provide us the flexibility, simplicity and sophistication offered by the Rubric structured assessment.

Performance Based and Product Based Assessments provides us the leverage to easily adapt to the different scenarios that may be foreseen or expected to be performed by the learner. It is flexible yet rigid since it allows the curriculum designer to construct assessments using a single format (rubric) and place criteria for learning and the graduated scale or points depending on the learners performance or product. It is likewise sophisticated since it expects more to the learners and measures more as compared to the duality approach to assessments, therefore a Performance/Product based assessments provides us the robustness that is not found on the right versus wrong assessments. This is pioneered in the business industries that relies on innovation and competitiveness of its workers, only now that its realized that learners must also be assessed competitively in order to perform as such.

Another add on to this curriculum design is the THEORY-BINARY PRACTICE, which puts larger emphasis on the applicability on the lesson to the society, more importantly if the lesson can be integrated to the societal needs arising within the immediate community of the learners. Thus, putting the Theory learned inside the classroom into a laboratory for thinking that encourages the learners to become an early part of the solution to a larger problem. This further strengthens the learners connection to the community rather than being detached to it as most of the case, the classroom would then become a gathering of thinkers, decision-makers and responsible citizens taking important roles and dealing with societal problems that are mostly an arena of the old and bearded guys who just went on retirement.

To better understand the importance of a robust curriculum design for the 21st century, i encourage you to listen to what these Deans and Professors of various established teacher education institutions on its value.


Teacher Centered vs Student Centered Approach

This Presents the difference of the Teacher-Centered Instruction as compared to Student-Centered Instruction in terms of Content, Instruction, Classroom Environment, Assessment and even the integration of ICT in the curriculum.

The Paradigm Shift of Education based on the NCBTS promotes a student-centered environment, as shown in the Matrix the comparison between the two approaches to instruction clearly distinguishes the value of student centered instruction which is also considered as higher intellectual quality curriculum.


How often have you attempted to grade your students’ work only to find that the assessment criteria were vague and the performance behavior was overly subjective? 🙂

Would you be able to justify the assessment or grade if you had to defend it?

The Rubric is an authentic assessment tool which is particularly useful in assessing criteria which are complex and subjective.

Authentic assessment is geared toward assessment methods which correspond as closely as possible to real world experience. It was originally developed in the arts and apprenticeship systems, where assessment has always been based on performance.

The instructor observes the student in the process of working on something real, provides feedback, monitors the student’s use of the feedback, and adjusts instruction and evaluation accordingly. Authentic assessment takes this principle of evaluating real work into all areas of the curriculum.

The rubric is one authentic assessment tool which is designed to simulate real life activity where students are engaged 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.

The advantages of using rubrics in assessment are that they:

  • allow assessment to be more objective and consistent
  • focus the teacher to clarify his/her criteria in specific terms
  • clearly show the student how their work will be evaluated and what is expected
  • promote student awareness of about the criteria to use in assessing peer performance
  • provide useful feedback regarding the effectiveness of the instruction
  • provide benchmarks against which to measure and document progress

Rubrics can be created in a variety of forms and levels of complexity, however, they all contain common features which:

  • focus on measuring a stated objective (performance, behavior, or quality)
  • use a range to rate performance
  • contain specific performance characteristics arranged in levels indicating the degree to which a standard has been met

In this module you will create your own rubric for assessing student performance regarding a given objective. Articles on the Web and some examples of rubrics will focus your effort and stimulate your creativity.

What is a rubric?

  • A rubric is a scoring guide that seeks to evaluate a student’s performance based on the sum of a full range of criteria rather than a single numerical score.
  • A rubric is an authentic assessment tool used to measure students’ work.
    • Authentic assessment is used to evaluate students’ work by measuring the product according to real-life criteria. The same criteria used to judge a published author would be used to evaluate students’ writing.
    • Although the same criteria are considered, expectations vary according to one’s level of expertise. The performance level of a novice is expected be lower than that of an expert and would be reflected in different standards. For example, in evaluating a story, a first-grade author may not be expected to write a coherent paragraph to earn a high evaluation. A tenth grader would need to write coherent paragraphs in order to earn high marks.
  • A rubric is a working guide for students and teachers, usually handed out before the assignment begins in order to get students to think about the criteria on which their work will be judged.
  • A rubric enhances the quality of direct instruction.

Rubrics can be created for any content area including math, science, history, writing, foreign languages, drama, art, music, and even cooking! Once developed, they can be modified easily for various grade levels. The following rubric was created by a group of postgraduate education students at the University of San Francisco, but could be developed easily by a group of elementary students.

Why use rubrics?

Many experts believe that rubrics improve students’ end products and therefore increase learning. When teachers evaluate papers or projects, they know implicitly what makes a good final product and why. When students receive rubrics beforehand, they understand how they will be evaluated and can prepare accordingly. Developing a grid and making it available as a tool for students’ use will provide the scaffolding necessary to improve the quality of their work and increase their knowledge.

In brief:

  • Prepare rubrics as guides students can use to build on current knowledge.
  • Consider rubrics as part of your planning time, not as an additional time commitment to your preparation.

Once a rubric is created, it can be used for a variety of activities. Reviewing, re-conceptualizing, and revisiting the same concepts from different angles improves understanding of the lesson for students. An established rubric can be used or slightly modified and applied to many activities. For example, the standards for excellence in a writing rubric remain constant throughout the school year; what does change is students’ competence and your teaching strategy. Because the essentials remain constant, it is not necessary to create a completely new rubric for every activity.

There are many advantages to using rubrics:

  • Teachers can increase the quality of their direct instruction by providing focus, emphasis, and attention to particular details as a model for students.
  • Students have explicit guidelines regarding teacher expectations.
  • Students can use rubrics as a tool to develop their abilities.
  • Teachers can reuse rubrics for various activities.
  • Rubrics tell students they must do a careful job. Information on the expected quality of the task performed is given to students.
  • Rubrics set standards. Students know in advance what they have to do to achieve a certain level.
  • Rubrics clarify expectations. When levels are described in clear language, everyone knows what is required. The quality of student work will improve.
  • Rubrics help students take responsibility for their own learning. Students use rubrics to help study information the teacher values.
  • Rubrics have value to other stakeholders. Anyone (including colleagues, parents and community members) seeing a rubric and a student score based on that rubric knows what content was mastered by that student.

Disadvantages of Rubrics:

  • Rubrics are hard to design.
  • Rubrics are time-consuming to design.
  • “A rubric is only as useful as it is good.  Using a bad rubric is a waste of time…” –Michael Simkins in “Designing Great Rubrics”

Analytic vs. Holistic Rubrics

  • Holistic rubric gives a single score or rating for an entire product or performance based on an overall impression of a student’s work
  • Analytical trait rubric divides a product or performance into essential traits or dimensions so that they can be judged separately—one analyzes a product or performance for essential traits

New Picture (1)

New Picture

Steps in Rubric Development

  1. Determine learning outcomes
  2. Keep it short and simple (Include 4 – 15 items; use brief statements or phrases)
  3. Each rubric item should focus on a different skill
  4. Focus on how students develop and express their learning
  5. Evaluate only measurable criteria
  6. Ideally, the entire rubric should fit on one sheet of paper
  7. Reevaluate the rubric (Did it work? Was it sufficiently detailed?)

Terms to use in measuring range/scoring levels

Needs Improvement…Satisfactory…Good…Exemplary


Needs work…Good…Excellent


Numeric scale ranging from 1 to 5, for example

An online Rubric Generator; a great tool in constructing a good rubric, is available here.



Creating rubrics

Performance Assessment

Kathy Schrock’s Guide for Educators

Performance/Product based Assessment

There’s been a lot of confusion regarding the construction of the Performance – Oriented Assessment and the Product Based Assessment. Confusion starts with the lack of understanding with regards to the definition and application of these two authentic assessments.

When we say Performance Oriented Assessment, we refer to the type of assessment that mainly focuses on the ability of the students/learners to arrive or produce or demonstrate their own learning.

So, this means that if the learning task is to “write a poem” or “write a book review” or solve a mathematical problem or come up with a basic building plan, the teacher will focus on how the learner produced or conducted the learning task.

The teacher will assess the student/learner based on the skill acquired, so in the case of writing a poem, the criterion would be “displayed skillful ability to compose an original poem” and “displayed ability to rhyme the words“.

In these assessment, you are focusing on the skills of the learner in coming up with a Poem.

While in the Product-Oriented Assessment, you are focusing on the  product your learner was able to come up with. In this case, ” Writing a Poem” , so your criterion would be ” organization of the poem” , ” poem contain 3 stanza” , ” correct grammar ” , ” appropriate use of words and rhymes “, “contains 150 words”.

As you  might have observed, we are focusing on the poem itself and not on the learner. This is what product oriented assessment is all about.

Now, the way to assess this is through a RUBRIC.

And lastly, a single learning task can be assessed with both product – oriented and Process – oriented . I suggest you use the learning task you are using for your Process Oriented Assessment for you Product – Oriented Assessment, in this case, you will be able to construct your own assessment easily and better appreciate Both type of Assessments. Same learning tasks can also be used for your Affective Assessment.

(The goal here is to enable Education students to be able to deeply understand the concept of Performance Assessment in support with the Paradigm Shift of Education and in line with the NCBTS to create a Globally Competent Filipino Teachers for the 21st Century. The presentations in the slideshare page is only to serve as a MODEL in constructing your own Assessment Plan.  Please do not copy it for your Field Study. )

Links for more comprehensive example on Product/Process Oriented Assessment:






Performance Based Assessment

So, what is Performance Based Assessment?

Performance Based student assessment is the process of using student activities rather than tests or exams to assess the skills or knowledge gained by the student in the class.

Examples are:

Recitals, Assignments, Performances such as drama etc., and projects.

3-types of Performance Based Assessment

  1. Product
  2. Performance
  3. Process-oriented

In this blog I’m going to focus on the two types of performance assessment which is Product and Process-Oriented. But before i go to that, I’ll discuss first the Performance Based Assessment.

Products Based (Authentic) Assessment, are works produced by the students that demonstrates the level of understanding they have on the lessons of the teacher. This are concrete examples of their application of knowledge.

Example: Writing Compositions, Projects, Works of Arts, and Portfolio.

Performance Based Assessment, has the same definition with the other two because generally all of them can be considered as performance based one. however, the difference with this one from the other two is that it allows the students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills under the direct observation of the teacher. they may engage in activities that requires them to go out of school such as doing observations, surveys or demonstrate it on-stage such as comical skits, solving on the board, drama etc.

Example: Debates, Drama, Oral Reports, Seat works, Board works, role plays, demonstrations.

Process Based (authentic) Assessment, are activities of the students that provides insights on their thinking, reasoning and motivation. They can provide diagnostic information on how well the students use learning strategies that leads to independent learning because it requires them to reflect on their learning and set goals to improve it.

Example: think aloud, self-assessment checklists or surveys, learning logs and projects that are focused on the process.

In the next post, i will discuss more on the process and product based assessments, and hopefully include some examples on how to construct lesson plans and Rubrics based on this type of assessment.

Have a great day!