Classroom Blogging – Assessment

Classroom Blogging: A Teacher's Guide to Blogs, Wikis, & Other Tools that are Shaping a new Information Landscape (2nd ed.) by David F. Warlick.

How does one assess a blog?

Blogs may actually be easier to assess than other kinds of classroom writing. First, blogs lend themselves to authentic assessments – the comments left by teachers and other students are probably more meaningful and helpful than any specific grade which we might assign. What I have done this year is to leave feedback on certain assignments, and then grade others formally. I do not let myself feel pressured to grade every single blog.

That said, there are a variety of blog-related rubrics available on the web, through RubiStar, and other online rubric sites. Warlick includes instructions for how you can embed a rubric into your blog, if you are so inclined. My own preference has been to post the blogging prompt on the class blog, and then leave some room for students to approach the prompt in a way which is meaningful to them. I think this strikes a fair balance between my need to define the learning activity and set the goals, and the need to carve out a sphere which is the student's own and where their sense of ownership is preserved.

What can my students do with a class blog?

What can't they do? Blogs are about literacy – thinking to write, writing to think. The student begins the process reading, and then ends the process reading. The real question for teachers becomes, “What is it I want my students to become more literate about?” Where is it that students most need to be engaged? Blog about it.

Here are a few blogging ideas Warlick mentions in his book:

portfolios

peer reviews

literature or book reviews

blogging about artwork

current events / journalistic blogs

ethical discussions

journaling / creative writing

team writing

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