Tool 5.2 – Rubrics for 21st Century Learning Activity Design
The Rubrics for 21st Century Learning Activity Design (21CLD) are a tool intended to evaluate the whole process of implementing changes and innovation in order to determine the conditions and support needed for successful implementation of the Future Classroom Scenarios. They also help you further develop and refine the Learning Activities you have designed and tested in the classroom with a particular emphasis on 21st century skills.
The 21CLD rubrics were developed by the Innovative Teaching and Learning (ITL) Research project. Their purpose is to help educators identify, understand and build learning activities that allow students to develop 21st century skills.
The tool consists of six rubrics, each of which represents an important skill for students to develop:
- knowledge construction
- real-world problem solving
- the use of ICT for learning
- skilled communication
When building a learning activity, you don't have to include all the skills in it, but instead you can focus on a few of them.
The rubrics incorporate a framework for coding learning activities along with a number of questions to ensure you are embedding 21st century skills in your teaching practices. By using the rubrics, you assign each learning activity a code – a number from 1 to 5, according to how strongly it offers opportunities to develop a given skill.
In this video, the 21CLD Collaboration Rubric is explained by Professor Deirdre Butler. She gives examples of how the rubric can help teachers in their practice.
Suggested workshop activities
Choose one of learning activities below and use the rubrics to analyse the activity and code the level of development of these skills. The questions will help you code the learning activity. You can also ask other stakeholders, e.g. head teachers, colleagues or students, to code the activity to see different perspectives on innovation.
The aim of the activity is to understand the different parameters of 21st Century Learning Design.
1 - Real-world problem solving and innovation
- Lunar X-Prize – inquiry-based learning to solve real space exploration scenarios
- From Brian's Bookshelf: The Firsts – project-based learning about inventions past and present
- Is problem solving the main requirement for the activity?
- Are students working on a real-world problem?
- Does the activity require implementation in the real world?
Use this tool (5.2.1.) to help you evaluate problem solving and innovation skills. What would be the code you give to the sample scenarios? Why?
2 - Use of ICT for learning
- Health and healthy behaviours in youth – project-based learning to promote healthy lifestyles.
- Legends – collaborative project to develop students' creative and critical thinking skills.
- Do students have the opportunity to use ICT for this learning activity?
- Does ICT support students' knowledge construction?
- Is ICT required for constructing this knowledge?
- Are students designers of an ICT product?
Use this this tool (5.2.2.) to help you evaluate use of ICT for learning. What code would you give to the sample scenarios? Why?
3 - Collaboration
- Around Porto in English – a collaborative project to raise awareness of cultural heritage
- Random Acts of Kindness Christmas Calendar – a collaborative project to enhance empathy
- Do students work together?
- Do they have shared responsibility?
- Do they make substantive decisions together?
- Do they work independently?
Use this tool (5.2.3.) to help you evaluate collaboration skills. What code would you give to the sample scenarios? Why?
4 - Knowledge construction
Describe your own learning activity or visit a lesson led by your colleague and analyse and code the level of knowledge construction that students developed during the lesson.
- Do students build new knowledge?
- Is knowledge construction the main requirement for the activity?
- Are students required to apply their knowledge?
- Is the activity interdisciplinary?
Use this this tool (5.2.4.) to help you evaluate knowledge building. What code would you give to the sample scenarios? Why?