Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ideas for evaluating students blog posts

An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education offers a number of great ideas for grading online blogs. 

A Rubric for Evaluating Student Blogs 
September 27, 2010, 11:00 am 
By Mark Sample 

"I typically require weekly blog posts from my students, and though each post by itself may not amount to much, they cumulatively account for a substantial portion of a student’s final grade. For example, in a recent graduate class on postmodernism, I required once-a-week postings that added up to 20 percent of the final grade:
Each student will contribute to the weekly class blog, posting an approximately 500-word response to the week’s readings. There are a number of ways to approach these open-ended posts: consider the reading in relation to its historical or theoretical context; write about an aspect of the day’s reading that you don’t understand, or something that jars you; formulate an insightful question or two about the reading and then attempt to answer your own questions; or respond to another student’s post, building upon it, disagreeing with it, or re-thinking it. In any case, strive for thoughtfulness and nuance. To ensure that everyone has a chance to read the blog before class, post your response by midnight the evening before class."

"Rating Characteristics 

 4 Exceptional. The blog post is focused and coherently integrates examples with explanations or analysis. The post demonstrates awareness of its own limitations or implications, and it considers multiple perspectives when appropriate. The entry reflects in-depth engagement with the topic. 

3 Satisfactory. The blog post is reasonably focused, and explanations or analysis are mostly based on examples or other evidence. Fewer connections are made between ideas, and though new insights are offered, they are not fully developed. The post reflects moderate engagement with the topic. 

2 Underdeveloped. The blog post is mostly description or summary, without consideration of alternative perspectives, and few connections are made between ideas. The post reflects passing engagement with the topic. 

 1 Limited. The blog post is unfocused, or simply rehashes previous comments, and displays no evidence of student engagement with the topic. 

 0 No Credit. The blog post is missing or consists of one or two disconnected sentences." 



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