The students seemed to really enjoy the project, and I am happy to say, I/we seemed to get something out of it too. I did have a couple of students who didn't really engage with the project or wrote random, sarcastic things like "blah, blah, blah . . . same as everyone else's." But overall they took it seriously and did well. (By the way, "random" is one of the characteristics of bad writing they identified--so on their web discussion this kind of thing will affect their grade--by their own choice!!) I'm hoping that the fact that they created the rubric themselves will give me more buy-in, we'll see.
I have to admit that this rubric is quite a bit different from the one I would have created had I done it on my own and just given it to them. For one thing, they roundly rejected web language or "txt tlk," which I found interesting. They also helped me think of things that I wouldn't have thought of, like "random," "rambling," and "offensive." I would have definitely told them to be appropriate, but I like the fact that this last item is part of the rubric itself--I probably wouldn't have done it that way on my own. If you're curious, my rubric would probably have been some slightly modified form of six traits (which is my default rubric for everything--and as you can see, some of those traits show up here, but this one is more to the point for our particular assignment).
I also found it interesting that it did turn out to be important to include both good and bad examples; I debated about the value of this with myself (and one of my students remarked "duh, the opposite of good writing" in the "bad" forum). But there were things that showed up more in the bad column than the good that might have been missed had I focused only on good examples, and that made the rubric better I think.
Here is the rubric we created (the numbers reflect the number of students who mentioned the trait). Interestingly, when I totaled the votes for each of the eight most popular items in the rubric, it magically and miraculously came out to exactly 100, which made the weighting of each item easy (based on how many students identified it as important).
Results of Class “Moodle” on
By combining the good and bad characteristics you identified, I created the following rubric, which is based on the top items you thought were most important overall. They are weighted based on the number of you who identified them as important. I will be using this rubric to grade the web discussion we have on Friday:
Good Spelling and Grammar/No Errors _______/19
Has a Point/Is not Completely Random _______/16
Stays on Topic/Does not Ramble or Digress _______/12
Does not Contain Slang/Txt Tlk _______/11
Uses Factual Information/Credible Sources _______/11
Is Interesting/Funny/Entertaining _______/10
Is not Offensive/No Profanity _______/6
Total Points ____________/100