Grade “A” Blogging

    I’m constantly blown away that other teachers, quality teachers, in fact, are reading and thinking about my reflections here.  The feeling, to quote a student of mine, is "sickly-ill tight tight."  (I think that means cool.)
    Darren, over at A Difference, recently posted a comment here about my blogging course.  He had some interesting suggestions:

I’m thinking I might like to teach a similar course. (It would be so
much fun!) I wonder how you’re going to assess your students work?

Just thinking out loud here:
How about asking the students how they think they should be assessed?
What sort of required work should they have to do? What sort of
periodic formative assessment would be fair and legitimate? Build the
rubric together maybe.

As I imagine myself teaching such a course, after listening to your
podcast, I’ve got some more ideas. In your podcast you mentioned two
things:

(1) You began by reviewing some of the technology apps out there. i.e. RSS and Bloglines.

(2) Many students today are more technologically knowledgeable than their teachers.

Ok, so one part of the assessment might be to have each student
research a technology (is this grammar correct?) and then present/teach
the class how to use/integrate it into their blogs. i.e. podcasting,
videoblogging, flickr, wikis, blog template design/editing, etc.

One last thought. Anne Davis wrote an article about an ESL teacher
whose class is blogging about bullying. Anne suggested other teachers
pick an issue and do the same. How would that be for one of your class
assignments?

I’d love to hear what you think about all this.

    What Darren didn’t know, is that I’ve already asked my students to help with the assessment piece of the course.  I don’t yet know exactly what it means to earn an "A" as a blogger.  I have some ideas, of course — but don’t we all.  My students and I will be deciding together.  I’ll share that here as it develops.
    I’ve also asked students to pick a project or two for the class and to write up a contract of how they’ll earn the full credit for the course that way.  I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with after the break. 
    Darren, by the way, has created a wiki to use as a classroom text that is, in his words:

kind of like a student generated math dictionary that the whole class builds together.

   His idea is quite sickly-ill tight, tight.  Now if only I understood higher-level math.

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