How do you assess blogs?
What is your purpose?
That is the question.
DigiLit Sunday is a Sunday post on literacy, an invitation by Margaret Simon, to share literacy strategies and tools for the classroom. This week’s list of bloggers: Sunday, September 14, 2014.
This week’s DigiLit Sunday is a follow-up to Margaret’s question last week: How do I turn this activity into data?
How do you assess blogs?
What is your purpose?
That is the question, and that determines the data.
For some, the purpose may be writing fluency. Then assessment would be to provide feedback on the increased number and length of posts. [ CCSS: 10. Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences. ]
As students develop fluency, suggest organization of paragraphs — not the five-sentence paragraph, but the idea of topic and support. [CCSS: 4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. ]
Next, add in conventions — sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc.
If fluency and foundational skills are not the focus, then consider:
- design — the theme, layout, widgets, links, focus, invitation to participate, categories, tags [CCSS: 6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.]
- content — topic, support details, vocabulary, questions, style [ CCSS: 1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence. 2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content. 3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences. ]
Perhaps the focus is writing:
- [CCSS: 4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. ]
- word choice
- sentence fluency
- [CCSS: 5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. ]
Perhaps the focus is collaboration:
- [CCSS: 6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others 7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation. 8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism. ]
- [CCSS Speaking and Listening
Comprehension and Collaboration 1 Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. 2 Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally. 3 Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas 4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. 5 Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.]
For a thorough review of blogging with students, see Silvia Tolisano’s work at Langwitches:
- Blogging with Students Wiki
- Learning About: Blogs for Quality [includes rubrics]
- Blogging Framework [use to develop goals with students]
- Blogging Unit
I especially like this rubric she created [click to enlarge]:
My hope is my “assessment” is a conversation with students and students with each other, so that the learning is a growth goal of which reflection inspires improvement. Therefore, an ongoing component of blogging would be a reflection by the student of the growth their blog demonstrates. If I must give score from a rubric, the important part is still the conversation, goal-setting, and reflection!
What are your thoughts about assessing blogs and gathering data?
Wow! Look at you and all those CCSSs! I know they are all there. Thanks for this thinking through what I know but have trouble assessing. The rubric is a great resource. You have set me on the right path.