5. Assessing student blogs
Meg’s Blogagogical objectives
- To forumulate assessment rubrics for your classroom blogging assignments.
- To write a plan for using blogs in the classroom.
What are you hoping to learn from this module? Your objectives can be the same as mine, but is there anything else you are expecting to learn? Write down your thoughts, discuss with a partner or small group in the class, or blog it!
It’s one thing to set up blogs in the classroom and even to put up a sound educational design behind them; it’s quite another to figure out how you’re going to assess your students’ blogging efforts. What makes for a good blog entry, for example? Do you need a marking rubric or will you allow students to self-assess? How will you measure student learning via blogs? This module will help you think about how you might use blogs for assessment.
Focus questions: Assessing students’ work
How do you currently assess students’ work? Will that change in the blogging environment or is what you’re looking for still the same? Will you have to assess new things, such as website design or succinctness of student posts? Write down your thoughts, discuss with a partner or small group in the class, or blog it!
Blog deployment basics
Jill Walker lists some things that work in the classroom when using blogs:
- Concrete tasks, in classroom
- Set up tasks where students have to link to each other
- Insist on feedback to other students
- The teacher must model good blogging
- Encourage feedback and editing of posts
- Set tasks that require reading and linking to other blogs
And Susan Hyde lays out some DOs and DON’Ts. Do, she says
- Keep curriculum objectives and specific standards of learning in mind
- Focus on skills that students have learned in past lessons as well as new areas of instruction
- Provide students with a copy of the rubric before a writing assignment is begun
- Encourage students to use the rubric during peer editing
- Include space for suggestions and words of encouragement
- Provide examples of writing that meet the standards of the rubric, and discuss these examples in class
- Use the rubric to keep your scoring and comments consistent to a standard
Susan also says that you shouldn’t:
- Include items on the rubric that have not yet been explained in class
- Expect a finished and polished project on early drafts
- Compare one student’s work with another’s
- Be afraid to have students help you design a rubric based on provided learning objectives
- Include subjective or irrelevant items on the rubric. Make the assessment specific to the learning goal
You can develop your own assessment rubric for each course or class you teach. Possible assessment areas:
- Intellectual engagement with course
- Data gathering
- Writing quality
- Relevance of links or embedded media
- Post frequency
Design and admin
- Use of enhancements (if using widgets, etc.)
- Management and administration
Exercise: Your assessment rubric
Write up a class blogging plan, taking into account the ‘dos and don’ts’ of class blogging. Write up an assessment rubric. What will you be measuring? Writing? Technological competence? Appearance of the blog? Write down your thoughts, discuss with a partner or small group in the class, or blog it!
Write down your thoughts, discuss with a partner or small group in the class, or blog it!
- What have I learnt?
- What is still unclear?
- What do I need to follow up on?
- Where to from here?
- What other stuff I have read or accessed to help me make sense of it all?
Links and resources
Self-assessment sheet, (jpg) Konrad Glogowski
Rubric for assessing reflection blogs, Catholic community forum
Blog Reflection Rubric, Department of Ed Tech, San Diego State Univesrity
Blogging assessment rubric, (pdf) Alec Couros
Replacing grading with conversations, Konrad Glogowoski
Making assessment personally relevant, Konrad Glogowoski
Assessment tools, CLPD, Adelaide University