Until the gentle folk who seek after rubrics, Greetings from Baron Fridrikr Tomasson.
Before you view and use rubrics, I hope that you will spend a few minutes and peruse this letter. It is my desire to give you some background on the appropriate design and use of rubrics.
A well-written rubric is often the product of many minds working together, with one author as the lead writer and others as editors, critics, etc. The rubrics you are about to view have been developed by an extensive editing process, and, in the case of the four that were used at Ice Dragon 2004 and 2005, were extensively field tested and commented on before they were used. This year we are also introducing two more rubrics in Armoring and Needlework. All six rubrics can be found here.
The goal of a rubric is to provide both teachers and students with a ‘verbose’ or extensively worded description of what a student’s work will look like at various points of achievement, from beginning to expert levels. In my experience as an educator, rubrics were originally intended to be learning tools that a student and teacher can use to help the student increase his level of proficiency. While rubrics are used for grading purposes, the best use of rubrics is as a teaching tool. That is how I have approached the so-called “rubrics project” that I have been working on and coordinating for the past four years.
As many of you are aware, the first four rubrics developed by the “rubrics project” were debuted at Ice Dragon 2004 with a fairly high degree of success. The first rubrics were in Post-14th century clothing (written primarily by Baroness Elizabeth von Flossenburg), Cooking (written primarily by Dame Katja Orlova), Calligraphy (written primarily by Dame Alicia Langland), and Illlumination (written primarily by Mistress Yvianne de Castel d’Avignon). Two others are introduced this year: Armoring (written primarily by Baron Langdon) and Needlework (written primarily by her Ladyship Guenevere Katherine of Land’s End). More are in preparation for next year.
A note about the use of rubrics. As I mentioned above, my goal is to have rubrics used primarily as teaching/learning tools and secondarily as judging tools. They are NOT intended to be used to classify anyone’s work as “Fleur level” or “Laurel level.” There is, of course, very little that anyone can do to prevent such uses. However, I would discourage such uses from the bottom of my very being. A rubric presents a goal of achieving the highest level of workmanship, the ideal piece, at its highest level. To judge any gentle as unworthy of elevantion or award because his work does not achieve that very high level would be highly unfair.
Finally, I want to thank you for taking an interest in the rubric project and the rubrics that have been written to date. I hope that you will feel free to contact me at rubrics AT Rochester.rr.com with any questions, comments, or suggestions for improvement you may have.
Yours in service,
Gamli-Fridrikr Tomasson glotti ok siginn landvarnarmar*
* with a few updates on new rubrics by the Pentocrat, (2006).