Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Data Deconstruction

Well, I appreciate the fact that I haven't made it particularly clear how the rubric relates to the blog, so here is my attempt. By the way, I also took a survey at the end of the semester about the project--they liked the blog activity significantly more than the moodle activity. Interesting, because many of them admitted that they learned more from the moodle, though they liked it less.

One student wrote, "Just use the rubric we made up again next year," which I thought was funny, and not a bad idea. But honestly, I think that finding examples of good and bad web writing and explaining why it's good or bad is a useful exercise in the development of a class-owned rubric, although the kids prefer to just go straight to discussing the book.

I'm going to use "John Lennon" as my first example. You can see her work in the test blog. And by the way, I find it interesting that you can choose a gender-neutral name, or a name which clearly marks your gender, or a name that suggests the other gender. I think this is interesting in the context of inquiry in the classroom--kids can discuss important issues that they may not be entirely comfortable addressing in public.

As I moved through the class blog I kept all of the student's rubrics in front of me in three rows. As I read each comment, I marked on that student's rubric a number of points that I thought reflected their contribution to the discussion, in the appropriate column of the rubric. A particularly "understandable/clear/logical" post might gain three points, while a "completely random/slang" post might warrant a -3 and -3 respectively. Then I just totaled them up (with my eyes, not my calculator--the numbers don't have to add up exactly) and gave the student a grade in each category that I felt reflected their contribution to our discussion.

John Lennon

_16/19_ Good Spelling and Grammar/No Errors (-3)
_16/16_ Has a Point/Is not Completely Random (+3 +3 +3 +2 +2 +1 +2 +2)
_15/15_ Understandable/Clear/Logical (+3 +2 +2 +3 +2 +2)
_12/12_ Stays on Topic/Does not Ramble or Digress (+2 +2 +2 +3 +3 +2)
_11/11_ Does not Contain Slang/Txt Tlk (No instances recorded)
_8/11_ Uses factual information/credible sources (+3 +3 +2)
_10/10_ Is interesting/funny/entertaining (+3 +2 +2 + 2 +2 +3 +2 +2 +2)
_6/6_ Is not offensive/no profanity (No instances recorded)

Total __94__ /100

Here's a student who didn't do quite as well. His comment on the survey (I know it's supposed to be confidential, but I recognized his hand writing) was, "you should have told me this assignment would be worth 100 points." I agree with him, that was a mistake.

Dr. Love

_17/19_ Good Spelling and Grammar/No Errors (-2)
_8/16_ Has a Point/Is not Completely Random (-3 +3 -3 +2 +2 -1 -1 -1 -1)
_10/15_ Understandable/Clear/Logical (+3 -1 -1)
_6/12_ Stays on Topic/Does not Ramble or Digress (-3 +2 -2 +1 -1)
_5/11_ Does not Contain Slang/Txt Tlk (-2 -1 -1 -2)
_8/11_ Uses factual information/credible sources (+3)
_10/10_ Is interesting/funny/entertaining (+2 +2 +2 + 3 +2 +1 +2 +2 +2)
_2/6_ Is not offensive/no profanity (-2 -2)

Total __66__/100

It took me a little over two hours to grade this assignment. Considering that it represented about one and one half hours class time, you can see that it is time-intensive for the teacher. One goal is to streamline this grading process--I think it will be easier (the little devil on my shoulder just chuckled ominously) when each student has a school email and can create his/her own blog.


Natalie said...

Thanks for sharing the grading information, it was certainly helpful. I can see how this could be very time intensive, but I also think it's possible that after awhile it will become easier as students (like Dr. Love)understand that it's serious and begin to treat it accordingly. Still love the idea of using the kids rubric - that idea was a true gem you need to display proudly.

I'm hoping that you'll share more information about Moddle during the summer institute - still confused here. I guess I thought it was a blog but when you talk about students preferring one to the other it makes me think there must be some significant differences. Can't wait!

JC Clarke said...

Moodle is a blog hosted by PSD, the blog you can see linked to my page is hosted by blogspot, that's the only difference. (Well, that, and the fact that moodle is not a public forum--it's open to members only).

The reason that they didn't like the moodle as much was because I asked them to find examples of good and bad web writing and then explain why it was good or bad. That's actually kind of difficult to do and isn't that much fun.

One of the student surveys said something along the lines that I should give the students a specific topic and tell them where to find some specific good or bad blogs to read as models instead of just saying, "go out and find good and bad writing about something you are interested in."

I agree, that's what I'll do next year, but as it was it worked for them in creating their own rubric, and even they admit that they learned a lot.

Natalie said...

Hmmm, Vincent makes a nice addition. Images are so important in this multi-media format aren't they? Maybe what we all need is to take photos of ourselves as we're reading so we can share a bit of body language :)