This post is designed to facilitate a round table discussion of using blogs for assessment at the 2009 Penn State Assessment Conference: Putting Your Assessment Plan to Work.
Over the past four years, I have used blogs regularly in my classes to facilitate philosophical discussion and assessment philosophical writing. I have used two implementations models:
- Multiple Blogs – student owned and operated blogs with a course blog that aggregates material from the student blogs.
- Common Course Blog – one blog with students either posting through comments or set up as editors.
There are positive and negative dimensions of each model and the assessment techniques differ in each case.
- Student Ownership
- Diversity of Perspectives
- Student Work easy to Identify & Evaluate
- Difficult to Establish Community of Discussion
- Lack of Cross Fertilization of Ideas
- Aggregated Community
Assessment for Multiple Blog Model
Individual Assignments/Individual rubrics; see:
- Antigone and Current Events; example: Stephanie Marek’s post on Gay Marriage
- Reading a Picture; example: Amanda Wise relates a picture of leaves to the Antigone
Ongoing Assignment, single rubric; see:
Common Course Blog
- More Organic Community
- Centrally Managed
- Facilitates Cross-fertilization of Ideas through Posts and Comments
- Unified Discussion
- Cultivates Social Learning
- Work of Individual Student is More Difficult to Access and Evaluate
- Minimizes Idiosyncratic perspectives, creative outlets
- No Individual Student Ownership
Assessment for Common Course Model
Ongoing Assignment with a single, comprehensive scoring rubric: