Friday, October 30, 2009

Midterm Assessment of Blogging Complete

I have completed the midterm assessment of all course-based blogs, according to the original rubric, viz.:

I will assess the quality and frequency of blogs twice during the semester: once at midterm, and once during finals week. You will receive a grade of A-F on both occasions. At the time of assessment, blogs that (a) contain the minimum number of regular entries (# required weeks of blogging x 2); (b) contain the right number of appropriate kinds of entries (that is, # required weeks of blogging x 1 “open” entries and # required weeks of blogging x 1 reply entries); and (c) incorporate an appropriate, yet not outstanding, degree of substance (insight, creativity, depth of analysis, etc.) will receive a “B.” Those blogs that satisfy (a) and (b) above and reflect an exceptional degree of substance will receive an “A.” Those blogs that fail to satisfy conditions (a) and/or (b) will receive a grade of no greater than “C,” regardless of their otherwise substantive natures. The grades of “D” and “F” will be applied to those blogs that both fail to satisfy conditions (a) and/or (b) and, to one degree or another, fail to reflect sufficient substance.

I have not focused my assessment efforts on the "right kinds" condition of (b), since, to my mind, it has served its basic purpose (i.e., to promote interblog communication). I've fallibly assessed condition (c) with a check, check-minus, or check-plus, the latter two designations capable of adjusting grades down or up from the base grade I assign on the basis of condition (a), that is, the number and regularity of postings over the half-term review period. The review period encompassed 6.0 weeks (9/14 - 10/25, ending this past Sunday; note that posts dated after 10/25 count only toward the second review period). The most common reason for a low midterm assessment turns out to be either an insufficient number (less than 12, the minimum) or insufficient regularity of posts (weeks with less than 2), or both. Therefore, I used the following guidelines for assigning a base grade:

(# of postings through October 25th/base grade)

12 or greater/B



less than 6/F

Of course, actual midterm grades, in accordance with the full assessment procedure above, will depend on my assessment of condition (c).


  1. Then, given that, are we expected to calculate our own midterm grade or will you tell us at some point?

  2. Students will only be able to calculate their base grades, not my adjustments up or down according to condition "c". So, I will informing students of their actual midterm grades. (Yours is fine, by the way.)