Let me note that grading on-line discussions is far more difficult than grading papers and other work products. The evaluations proved even more complex as the postings listed in the printout were not in chronological order (e.g., a posting on August 14 might appear before a posting cited for August 13. I am however assuming that all postings were made during the rubric’s definition of one week.
That noted, this is my understanding of the blog assignment.
- Each ETEC 648 student is required to evaluate, by applying the grading schema developed for Module 06, the discussion postings for two out of three assigned students. I have also included my rationale for allocating points to each of the two individuals.
- Observations about the rubric and usefulness
- Where the rubric worked
- Define and explain where the rubric was less than satisfactory
- What changes would I make to the rubric
- This week’s learnings
GRADING BILL AND CAROLE
|Required Action||Available Points||Points Earned by bill||rationale|
|1. Made substantial posts to each of the discussion board questions by midnight Wednesday of each week.||20% (i.e., 20 points)||15 points||Bill made some decent points in his postings; however, they did not necessarily respond to the question. For example, his initial posting did not describe P.D. models, only gave his frustration with various training environments.|
|2. Between Wednesday and midnight Sunday responded to at least 3 colleagues’ postings with a meaningful comment.||20% (i.e., 20 points)||12 points||Bill only provided 2 meaningful postings during the timeframe|
|3. Integrates your posts with your colleagues’ comments to create a real world application for each of your original posts.||30% (i.e., 30 points)||25 points||Somewhat. Bill did relate his experiences. And, his willingness to talk with conference colleagues suggests attempts to discover real time solutions.|
|4. Between Saturday and Sunday midnight, adds to the discussion board a major learning for the week.||15% (i.e., 15 points)||8 points||Although not explicitly stated, Bill admits to one learning.|
|5. Provides appropriate links and references as appropriate.||15% (i.e., 15 points)||15 points||Despite other opportunities, Bill does share a URL, more than some of his colleagues|
|Required Action||Available Points||Points Earned by carole||rationale|
|1. Made substantial posts to each of the discussion board questions by midnight Wednesday of each week.||20% (i.e., 20 points)||15 points||Carole like Bill made some decent points. While some seemed more to the topic, there was one point where she continued a gripe (i.e., wasting money) without trying to offer a positive solution.|
|2. Between Wednesday and midnight Sunday responded to at least 3 colleagues’ postings with a meaningful comment.||20% (i.e., 20 points)||20 points||If my timeline assumption is correct, she met the rubric requirement|
|3. Integrates your posts with your colleagues’ comments to create a real world application for each of your original posts.||30% (i.e., 30 points)||15 points||While not always finding real world applications, Carole’s posts do follow the thread of her colleagues.|
|4. Between Saturday and Sunday midnight, adds to the discussion board a major learning for the week.||15% (i.e., 15 points)||15 points||Towards the end of the discussion, Carole does indicate a learning.|
|5. Provides appropriate links and references as appropriate.||15% (i.e., 15 points)||15 points||Despite other opportunities, Carole does share a URL.|
- OBSERVATIONS ABOUT THE RUBRIC AND ITS USEFULNESS
Despite being my first attempt to develop a rubric, in general, and for an eLearning course, in particular, the rubric was less than successful than desired; however, the exercise forced me to articulate outcomes and expectations in ways that can be applied to both f2f and online learning classes.
I can see how developing rubrics is readily transferable to technical, scientific and problem solving environments. However, I am not sure how to create rubrics to assess meaningfully the acquisition of soft skills (e.g., managing, leadership) acquisition by working professionals.
- WHERE THE RUBRIC WORKED
In general terms, the “required actions” seemed to capture much of what of was needed. At the same time, it appears that several actions required greater specificity. More specifically,
- Quantifying the number of links and references could have been stated as an “absolute” number or perhaps as a ratio of links/posting.
- Defining “Real world applications” better. In all my f2f classes and workshops stress applications. Here I needed to be more concrete as to expectations (e.g., by giving examples).
- Defining “meaningful” while difficult is necessary. Again, creating parameters and/or examples might been a better approach.
WHERE THE RUBRIC WAS LESS THAN SATISFACTORY.
In my previous response, I identified the need for greater specificity within each of my required actions. More important however, is my not including the grading criteria for each of the desired actions.
Not creating a grading template as to what demonstrates (e.g.) unacceptable, marginal, average, above average, and exceptional performance leaves the student in limbo.
For example, I cite the need for appropriate links and references; however I do not specify the expected number of links/references. A concrete example with a 4 point scale:
0 links=1 point
1-2 links=2 points
3-4 links=3 points
5+ links=4 points.
- WHAT CHANGES WOULD I MAKE TO THE RUBRIC
Changes to this rubric include:
Developing metrics. Provide greater specificity as to what “earns” what grade for each required action. This makes the “contract” between instructor and student clearer.
Expanding the number of required actions. For example, there was no metric for inappropriate behavior. Also, some assessment of grammar, spelling, etc., needs be incorporated into a grading schema.
- LEARNINGS OF THE WEEK
Rubrics and Their Development. Producing meaningful rubrics is a complex and iterative process. The basic “required actions” seem easy; however pairing them with meaningful measures is far more difficult. I did learn that my approach to create a rubric for a f2f class I just implemented, while needing refinement, is on target.
Problems with Creating Rubrics for Soft Skills. While beyond the scope of Module 07, creating rubrics to assess soft skills in professional (e.g., business) environments will likely prove problematic. This will prove especially challenging given the skill sets and expectations of the emerging labor force.