I’m sure that most of us got into education for the sheer joy of teaching and working with children. We watched our own teachers and were inspired. But nobody warned us about grading and paper work and that was probably one of the great surprises of student teaching. Evaluating really creative work like fiction essays, poetry, drawings, and videos can present even more of a challenge than “simple” right and wrong answers. In AFI’s “21st Century Teacher’s Handbook: Protocol and Materials Guide to the Screen Education Process” there are two different grading rubrics.
They are, of course, based on the familiar four star rating system, but what’s really remarkable and different about them is that one is completely based on the beginning of the project, the“Pitch & Presentation,” while the other is a more traditional finished movie/video evaluation.
I really like the emphasis that AFI puts on preparation and teamwork throughout the whole process. It may be based on a Hollywood “time is money” reality, but it makes just as much sense in a school where limited time, the interest level and quality of work all depend heavily on a well laid foundation. So part of the grade rides on your ability to present your plan for making a video to the teacher and the class, your overall content, how the team will collaborate, and “green light” rating which is the chance of overall success based on all the elements of the presentation. This is "show your work" on the way to your final answer in a very visual sense. With the initial plan shared and evaluated, students can begin production with a solid idea of their strengths and what needs work before turning the project in for its final grade.
The final project rubric awards the range of stars for story, storyboard, camera work, acting, editing, and production values.
Whatever type of rubric you use and however you weight the mile stones (like the pitch and presentation or drafts of the script and storyboard), students should have a copy and understand the rubric from the very start of the project. The final grade shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone involved unless the team took constructive feedback along the way to heart and used it to improve their project way beyond the initial indications.
Two evaluation rubrics, one for the beginning and one for the end. Two thumbs up!
Picture and graphic are from AFI’s "The 21st Century Educator’s Handbook: Protocol and Materials Guide to the Screen Education Process."