Rubric Writing

[Written by Alex Hernandez.]

The system called Rubric Writing (Mason 1985) is a method for recording the progress one makes during their problem solving experience. This method takes into account when, for example, one has an incite, or when one realizes their algorithm is not valid. The purpose of RUBRIC writing is for the problem solver to see the systematic ways in which problem solving can be approached. Once the problem solver sees these patterns and such, ideally, then problem solving can be less of a hassle and more of a fun, mentally challenging exercise.

In rubric writing, there are three categories into which one divides up the problem solving experience:

Entry, Attack, and Review/Reflect. The following text gives a brief, yet comprehensive explanation of their functions and what elements of problem solving reside.

Entry: This is the process where one encounters the problem itself. In this phase, one begins to think about the ways in which the problem can be resolved. Then, one may begin to recall problems in their past that were similar in natureto the current problem. and in turn, use those previous experiences to procure a plan of action to resolve them. Once these parallels are drawn, then on can begin to formulate alternate plans on how to approach the problem. This phase typically RendsS once one begins to attempt the problem.

Attack: This is the phase where the individual attempts to _physically_ resolve the problem. The individual begins to Rwork atS the problem and tests the validity of their chosen algorithm. Another element within this phase is that the pragmatics of the problem are seen. The pragmatics of solving the problem become especially apparent in this phase because the individual is physically working with the problem in its environment. One also sees the effectiveness of their algorithm in this phase.

Review/Reflect: This is the phase when the problem solver Rtakes a step backS and begins to analyze the effectiveness of their algorithm. In addition, the individual checks the progress of their work. Discovered during this phase are insights and mistakes within the resolution of the problem. The individual absorbs the feedback from their experience from the Attack phase and conglomerates this feedback into practical means and methods of dealing with the problem. For example, one might discover that their method of resolution works, but is not the most efficient. Therefore, the problem solver can go back and have a sense of how much to fine tune their approach to the problem (Attack mode).

All of these phases are not once cycling and then complete. Rather, Rubric writing is a proactive, constant assessment (and reassessment) of one's problem solving environment and how to react and manipulate the elements within this environment. For example, during the Review phase, one might discover an inaccuracy in an assumption they made in the Entry phase, and therefore, go back to the Entry phase, correct their assumption, and then go forward to the Attack phase in order to reevaluate the problem. Similarly, in the midst of Attack phase while one is resolving a problem, one may discover that the approach results in an invalid answer, therefore going back to Entry phase and pondering another possible algorithm.


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