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Rubric for Fostering Creativity and Innovation

Creativity and Innovation Rubric Instructions

View/Print Rubric: [Word version]

Or try out an interactive version of the rubric in the Contextual Learning Portal project template when you use the template to create and share a project. The rubric also appears on this page, below.

In 2012 the Massachusetts Legislature established a Commission to Develop an Index of Creative and Innovative Education in Public Schools, which reviewed ways to support creativity and innovation in education and the workplace. As part of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's College and Career Readiness work, the Massachusetts Creativity/Innovation Initiative grant program was established in the 2014-2015 school year. The purpose of this funding opportunity was to foster students' creativity and capacity for innovation, critical for success in a 21st century economy. The grant supports the review, design, and implementation of middle and/or high school curricula that promote essential skills of creativity and innovation while improving students' academic achievement and engagement. The Creativity/Innovation Rubric is based on a review of research about how creativity develops and can be encouraged in educational settings. The format of the rubric was adapted from the EQuIP Quality Review Rubric for Lessons and Units.

Using the Rubric
The Creativity/Innovation Rubric is designed to give guidance to teams of educators who wish to develop or revise standards-based curriculum projects or units in order to extend students' opportunities to exercise their creativity and capacity for innovation. It is not expected that any single project or unit will address every criterion in every Dimension. Using the rubric can help educators identify areas to be strengthened or new resources or instructional approaches to explore. Curriculum developers and reviewers should consider the entire year's curriculum in order to identify creativity/innovation elements that could be added to address specific gaps or needs.

How to Use the Rubric

  • Step 1 - Review an Existing Curriculum Project or Unit: Record the grade and title of the project/unit at the top of the Rubric and scan the project/unit to see what it contains and how it is organized. Read key materials, particularly those related to instruction, assessment and teacher guidance. Work the student tasks and consider the project-based learning experience within the project/unit, keep in mind all the possible creativity/innovation strategies students might use.

  • Step 2 - Apply Criteria in Dimension I: Alignment: Identify the grade-level student learning standards from the MA Curriculum Frameworks that the project/unit targets. Closely examine the project/unit through the "lens" of each of the criteria. Check each criterion for which clear and substantial evidence is found. On your recording sheet enter your rating 0-3 for Dimension I. Compare your rating with those of your group. Identify and record input on specific improvements that might be made to address one or more of the criteria/elements or strengthen alignment.

  • Step 3 - Apply Criteria in Dimensions II-V: Following the same process - closely examine the project/unit through the "lens" of each of the criteria/elements. Check each criterion for which clear and substantial evidence is found. On your recording sheet enter your rating 0-3 and record your input on criteria that have been met as well as specific improvements that might be made to meet or strengthen one or more criteria. Depending on the experience level of your group, individuals may choose to compare ratings after each dimension or delay conversation until each person has rated and recorded their input for the remaining Dimensions II-V.

  • Step 4 - Compare Ratings and Determine Next Steps: Note where there are similarities and differences among raters and evidence cited to arrive at final ratings and key summary comments. Have a conversation about recommended next steps for the project/unit.

Creativity and Innovation Rubric

1.) Alignment with MA Curriculum Frameworks

Challenging grade-level work

♦ Students engage in challenging, in-depth work, based on grade level standards.

♦ Projects and units introduce new material and/or build upon learned concepts and skills.

Development of critical and analytical thinking skills

♦ Students develop analytical and critical thinking skills, such as how to develop an open-ended research question, gather and analyze data, evaluate sources of information, construct an argument supported by evidence, explain a difficult concept, or solve a complex problem. Students develop and practice good questioning skills.

Connections across disciplines

♦ Students apply knowledge and techniques, drawing on skills developed through writing, reading, oral communication and through the study of math, the arts, literature, languages, history, science, engineering, technology and/or other areas.

♦ Students understand that their learning creates a foundation for creative and innovative work across disciplines and in endeavors throughout their lives - inside and outside of school.

2.) Learning Environment

Environment that supports initiative, risk-taking, and persistence

♦ Students show initiative and imagination, take risks, demonstrate persistence, and make and learn from mistakes in an environment that welcomes trial and error as well as success.

♦ Students and teachers collaborate in the development of project plans and students have an active role in shaping the direction of their creative work.

♦ Students work collaboratively and productively with others during some phase of the project/unit and develop and demonstrate teamwork and leadership skills and learn to show respect for others` ideas.

♦ Students consider unfamiliar and new ideas and perspectives other than their own.

Creative thinking skills and problem solving

♦ Students develop creative thinking skills: imagination fueled by curiosity, fluency (many ideas), flexibility (adaptability to changes; varied ideas), originality (new, unusual or unique ideas), and elaboration (add/expand details to ideas) and apply these skills to problem solve and innovate new solutions and/or products.

3.) Time and Resources

Time and resources for in-depth work

♦ Students have the opportunity to imagine, tinker, and innovate or create something new through multiple drafts or revisions.

♦ Students have the opportunity to access and use various media, technologies and modes of expression.

♦ Students select and use resources needed to pursue and produce their creative work, and have access to in-school and out-of-school resources, such as a mentor/expert; visits to a business, lab, or gallery.

Variety of tools and techniques for showing work

♦ Students are encouraged to show what they have learned in many ways, such as using graphics, images, and symbols, building models, creating simulations, and presenting performances and exhibits.

4.) Classroom, Community and Career Connections

Exploration of classroom, personal, community and career/workplace-related interests

♦ Students have opportunities to develop, explore and pursue classroom, personal, community, and career/workplace-related interests.

♦ Students identify and solve a problem that could have multiple solutions, given the parameters and constraints of the problem.

♦ Students have opportunities to build technical skills relevant to their creative work and practice appropriate use of tools and materials.

Communication and presentation of creative work to a variety of audiences

♦ Students communicate their ideas and products (orally and written) appropriately to a variety of audiences and situations, including peers, adults, employers, and others outside the classroom.

♦ Students create work that has artistic value or provides a creative and positive contribution to society (to their community, business, workplace, or the world).

5.) Reflection and Assessment

Evaluation of both the creative process and the product

♦ Students are regularly assessed (using various modes of curriculum-embedded assessments that may include pre-, formative, summative and self-assessment measures) for mastery of concepts and skills and for progress toward creating a product that has value.

♦ The project or unit includes evaluation rubrics and scoring guidelines that provide sufficient guidance for interpreting student performance (mastery of skills and a quality original final product).

♦ Students and teachers evaluate the studentís learning at various stages of the project or unit, including learning from dealing with obstacles and failures along the way. Assessments define success based on both the quality of the creative process and the quality of the final product.

♦ Student learning is supported through clear evaluation and scoring guidelines.

Assessment by variety of evaluators

♦ The assessment strategy identifies who will evaluate the final product, e.g. peers, teacher and student, customers/ consumers of a product or service, job/internship supervisors, business partners or mentors, a panel of judges, or other options.

Reflection on the creative experience

♦ Assessments and reflections give students the opportunity to define and describe the skills, techniques, and processes used in their creative and innovative work.

Scale for each Dimension: 3 = Project/unit meets most or all of the criteria; 2=Meets many of the criteria; 1=Meets some of the criteria; 0 = Meets a few or none of the criteria
Massachusetts Creativity and Innovation Initiative Rubric 1.0, Draft, Copyright © June 2014, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. This rubric is based on the EQuIP rubric, which in turn was derived from the Tri-State Rubric and the collaborative development process led by Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island and facilitated by Achieve. Educators may use or adapt the Creativity and Innovation Rubric. If modified, please attribute the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and EQuIP and re-title.