Wednesday, June 6, 2007
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.
_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.
_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)
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.