The possibilities to engage and challenge kids here is amazing! But - the age-old question must be answered: how do we assess our students? How do we grade them and provide feedback? I've developed a simple rubric, but am looking for other ideas - big or small - to grade students' work and provide feedback to them. Ideas?

Tags: assessment, cards, feedback, grades, grading, report, rubric

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This school year I decided to try a new approach to my students work: each class has a blog and a wiki where some of the works are posted (each week the blog "belongs" to one student and he has to write a summary of what he learned in the History class). I make some comments on the posts but I grade all the works and provide feedback using moodle where I also place other information and activities related to the classes.
Don't know if this is what you were looking for.
Joaquim - Great idea. I have a similar concept I use in my class with Nicenet, which is a bit of an outdated looking, but very secure, HTML-enabled posting site.

Do you have your students reflect about your class on a daily basis? Or weekly? And do you grade every single entry?

I struggle to motivate kids to reflect properly (grammar, thinking ideas through) unless the "grading" concept is used as motivation. Any thoughts?

Steve
Steve,

the idea is to have the students reflect about the class (what they have learned and what difficulties they have felt, if they liked it or not) but this is something new for them (12-14 years) and not all do this. This work is done on a weekly base (History in the seventh grade is once a week) and I do grade and comment every entry - sometimes even rewritting the text pointing out the corrections or pointing them to some complementary info.
I coordinate with the portuguese teacher and we both struggle to get the kids to write properly (which, sometimes, is a little exasperating... a problem that affects teachers everywhere). As for how to motivate them to write properly I don't have any miracle solution but I like Sue Cowley's book Getting the Buggers to Write which has some interesting suggestions (although not using computer technologies). Last time I had a portuguese class I used Joel Saltzman's book If you can talk, you can write as an inspiration for some classwork.
Another kind of work that the students have to do is an historical atlas - they handle the maps and I grade and comment them also using moodle.
If students upload assignments, or complete assignments within Google Sites, there is a comment section (available unless you suspend it) on the bottom of every page. You can have the kids do the assignments on their own sites/own pages, or all add pages to your own site. You can also have one page on your site, or a site specific to an assignment, and have all of the kids upload files to it (easier than it sounds) and have you, or other students read assignments and post comments at the bottom of the page.

There are so many different ways to do this sort of thing.

If you are using Moodle you can post a discussion question, and then have students respond to it and then post your own responses to those posted.

Just a few ideas. It all depends on whether you want the kids to see and respond to each other's work, or if it is just a workflow problem for you that you want create a more efficient mechanism for, or so it seems.

I have to say that I struggle to grade projects effectively with about 140 kids (even 60 was hard ;)
Matt -

Thanks for the ideas. I haven't really explored the used of Google in my classroom; I didn't realize there was so much educational functionality. I love the idea of the dropbox thing - that could be efficient and effective for me, as well as fun for kids.

I've never used Moodle, nor heard of of it - I'll have to explore.

I've created a rubric which requires kids to create their own responses and then also respond to another student's ideas; it's been moderately successful, although often I think the student-to-student responses start to get canned and superficial. I wonder in what way I can get my students motivated to think deeply without holding the "grading" aspect over their heads?

Thoughts?

Thanks for your ideas...

Steve
IMO, this guy has some great rubrics using a reformulated Bloom's "Digital" Taxonomy.
Bloom's "Digital" Taxonomy is a wonderful resource. In North Carolina our state requires five specific writing skills to be assessed. I have converted the "Threaded Discussion Rubric" into a simple model that addresses the five skills. You can find the download on our new blog, Carver AIG, on the assignments page. My students have been working on a class wiki, responding only to my discussion questions and each other. Now we are moving into the blogging world and starting our first attempt of "Connective Writing", as explained by Will Richardson, author of Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms . I believe this theory of connecting writing to real world self selected blogs is a powerful tool for motivation. It pushes them to explore topics in depth and connect to a multitude of information.
Sharon, I was unable to access the assignments page without logging in. Do you have a guest login?
So sorry, I have now set the page to public. Here is also a direct link to the Rubric
I've done a lot of of threaded books discussions over the last 3-4 years and I've decided all-in-all I'm disappointed in the results. I commented about my reasons on Moodle vs. Ning for Book Discussions. Maybe if I'd done more assessment I would have had a better result. Thanks for the rubric. N.
Nancy you are 'right on' about the quality of discussions. I also teach gifted students, although our county only requires the 84th percentile in something, anything to get in. That is exactly why I am trying "Connective Writing" in hopes of actually encouraging a developed response.

The primary benefit of the book discussions has been student and teacher modeling. I start early making comments on the threads and others seem to follow suit. I really think they reap the benefits of the additional feedback instead of the limited notes I make on their personal writing. But as you say, they just do it because it is assigned. I want more!

I really liked your ideas in the Moodle vs. Ning discussion, especially philosophy questions. I think I will use it as my next spring board. Thanks!
I really like David White's Philosophy book.

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