Thursday, March 26

Blog grading

<>I just love grading. . . . < /sarcasm >

Just some clarification and a reminder about how I'll be evaluating you at the end of the term --- not because I like to, but because I have to. Recall that the syllabus read as follows:
Further Research and Blog Postings (20%). I have established a “blog” for the course on which most of the course business will be conducted. . . . You’ll be contributing to this blog on a regular basis by authoring posts and commenting on others’ posts. The reading I assign is the tip of the iceberg. We’re dealing with topics and issues that are constantly under public discussion — both in academia and in the popular press. I’d like to see you do your part to bring some of this material to the rest of the class’s attention. Moreover, I expect everyone to be reading the blog. Note that others might be reading it as well — this blog is a public, collectively-authored document of which I want us to be proud!

Here’s how I’ll evaluate your contributions: We have around fourteen weeks: I expect you to post/comment significantly on at least eight different topics, in eight different weeks. After each class, I will evaluate your posts for the week on a 0-4 basis (0= “not done”/“wildly insufficient”, 1=“needs improvement”, 2=“acceptable”, 3=“good”, 4=“excellent!”). At the end of the term, I’ll ask you to submit a “best of” portfolio of your posts and will assign a grade on the basis of this and your numerical scores.
As I've mentioned in class, you can often get a good/acceptable score by adding just one really thoughtful, interesting post (you don't necessarily have to scour the web for other interesting material for the rest of us to look at). But more often, the best scores have gone to people who will supplement such posts with helpful comments, short news items, and so on. I'll be looking at your cumulative score over all weeks, your average weekly contribution over your best eight weeks, and a "best of" portfolio of posts that you will assemble in word and email to me to peruse.

Note also that when it comes to dividing the weeks in the grade book, I've been treating our class meeting as the dividing line. Stuff posted five minutes before class gets considered for the week prior to class; stuff posted five minutes after class gets considered for the week after class (just FYI: I don't know that it makes a great deal of difference --- let me know if I'm wrong about this).

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