What is a rubric? It is a way to assess the learning of an individual who may be a participant, a volunteer, or a professional in your ministry training and formation. To become a competent catechist, youth minister, RCIA leader, or any other minister there are various skills and learning objectives that one needs to demonstrate in their ministry. The challenge of a mentor or a coach is to engage others in learning what they need to know for their ministry and to be able to communicate to them if their skills are “poor to excellent” or “novice to expert” or any other continuum. To learn more about rubrics, you may wish to read DePaul’s Teaching Commons blog “What Are Rubrics”
Those of us, who are trainers, look for tools that will assist us with the task of giving feedback. I recently discovered ForAllRubrics. I tried it, and I like it! It is easy to use, and it allows me to give concrete feedback to a trainee quickly and easily. As needed, a face to face meeting or phone conversation can be a follow-up. If I were working with students in a classroom, there is an option to engage their parents in the conversation.
Of course it is FREE!
To learn more about this tool, you can visit Karen Jeffrey’s blog ForAllRubrics How To: Setting Up Your Roster - Where she walks you through the basic steps of setting up your class roster. When you set-up a rubric, I found it easy to do and there are plenty of examples, but not faith-based examples.
The ForAllRubrics Short Tutorial video, gives you a brief overview of the tool.
So in ministry, what could you use this tool for? Here are a couple of suggestions:
- Preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation: Look at the Confirmation Guidelines for the Archdiocese of Dubuque. If you were a Confirmation Catechist, what type of a rubric could you create that would reflect these guidelines? What five (5), ten (10), or maybe (15) faith objectives are relevant that could be represented in a continuum from say “novice to faith-filled” or any other meaningful continuum. As you engage with your confirmandi, you can share your assessment with your confirmandi several times during your Confirmation preparation quickly and easily.
- Children’s RCIA Catechist: If you are a Parish Catechetical Leader and coordinate the Children’s RCIA group. One of your responsibilities is to engage the children’s RCIA catechists in a formation process. Perhaps you use the Six Skills that Every Children’s Catechist Must Have as the basis of your formation experiences. So your training classes are finished and those attending the sessions know what needs to be done to be a good catechist. But what are you observing in their interactions with those they are teaching and how are you sharing your observations? Perhaps a rubric that uses the six skills that you have highlighted as important would provide the concrete feedback that you need to affirm or to encourage further growth in becoming a wonderful and competent catechist.
I’m sure that as you explore and use this tool, you will find a variety of ways that it can be used. I am inviting you to come back to share your story. After all, the wheel was invented once, and since then, we have been improving it in so many ways. Looking forward to hearing from you in the near future!