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, educational webpage design, history, philosophy, programming, and 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
  • Digital Learning and Instructional Design: focusing on the developmental principles of educational psychology, game design, gender role theory, and assessment. Specifically, my research work is two-fold, web-based assessment tools and educational game design:

    My most recent publication (April, 2017), E-Commerce for New Enterprises: Lessons & Select Case Studies, is a co-authored work written by me (the lessons and text) and my students (the case studies) as part of an on-going curriculum and simulations development project between The College of Saint Scholastica’s School of Business and Technology (SBT) and Learning-Games.net, and is designed to help 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, web hosting services, security and privacy measures, and new online product promotions set for the real world.

    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.

    From May 2016, Computer Information Systems: Case Studies, like E-Commerce for New Enterprises, is part of an on-going curriculum and simulations development project between SBT and Learning-Games.net, and 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.
    In additon, 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.


  • East Asian History and Culture: focusing on Japanese sword history, restoration and preservation.

    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.
    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. Ancient Japanese Swords and Fittings Across the Spectrum The Art of Tsukamaki
    (click on an image to enlarge)

Professional Affiliations

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