Student Blogging: Creating a Rubric

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I’m ready to assess my students’ blogs from the first semester.  Does anyone else feel like the first time you assess any new assignment that you’re just trudging through murky molasses?  I’m so slow at the assessment piece right now.

I’ve been looking around at student blogging rubrics as I try to decide which components a) I’ve actually taught and b) seem to represent my objectives for blogging as reader response.  I know that I should have had a rubric before we even started all of this, but I just jumped into the project with many unknowns.  

I’ve learned that about the only way to force myself to do something new is to just start doing that thing before I have completely concrete plans.  My apologies to whichever group of students has to do the project first!

My students have already set up their  blogs, so I don’t need to evaluate set up. I haven’t done a ton of work with commenting yet, and I’m not sure how to be able to see all their comments at once, so I’m not heavily assessing for that. I plan to work more with commenting in the coming months.  

I’ve been trying to create a rubric, so I’ve been searching the web to see how other teachers are evaluating their student blogs.  Here are four that I like:

Learning about Blogs for Your Students: 

I like the levels in this blog: Beginner, Capable, Accomplished, Expert. I like that each level acknowledges that the student is on a spectrum and is heading toward the “Expert” level.  I feel like I’ve only really touched on the first three qualities this blog names (Quality of Writing, Voice, and Presentation); I haven’t done much with multimedia, community, and citation. I would probably just incorporate the first qualities for now and aspire to add the rest in coming years.  As we are using the blogs for reader response, I’m not sure how much time I’ll ever devote to the multimedia piece.

4 Cs of Student Blogs in Elementary School:

This is a blogging rubric for an elementary classroom, but trust me, I learn a lot from elementary classrooms.  I like how simple (and alliterative) this blog is.  I might take the qualities from this rubric and combine them somehow with the levels of the first rubric. I prefer the four levels of expertise over three, and I prefer the word “beginner” over “unacceptable.”

Draft Blogging Rubric:

I’m drawn to the simplicity of this rubric.  I like that there are really only four possible score points available: Superior, Competent, Developing, or Insufficient.  This would be a really easy way to score blog posts if I were going to score each one separately. As it is, I read them at random along the way, and then I assign a certain number of posts a project grade at the end of the semester.

Blog Rubric from Silveri’s AP Literature Class: 

This blog rubric and accompanying instructions seems to represent the closest concept to what I am trying to do in my class. I really like that the focus is on the students’ reflection on the reading, which is what I also want my student blogs to accomplish.

One thing I’m seeing in all of these rubrics is a component for community and commenting on other students’ blogs. However, I am unable to figure out how to make that part of the rubric manageable. Does anyone know if there is a quick way to isolate a particular student’s comments on other blogs?  Is there a quick way to verify that a student is also writing comments?

Let me know if you have a rubric that you like for student blogs! I’d love to see it!

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5 responses to “Student Blogging: Creating a Rubric

  1. I am using blogging in my pre-service class on integrating reading and writing for future 4-8 teachers. For me, the purpose of blogging is to get these adults to try out blogging and get a feel for how to do it at first so that they can know enough about it to use it as a tool in their future classroom. I haven’t been using it as a reader response but as a place to increase audience for their writing and to give them a chance to read each other’s writing, learn how to comment, etc. Have you done any blogging like this with your students?

    • I did something like that when I taught creative writing last year. They did a good job with it, but they have a harder time with the idea of audience. It’s difficult for kids to understand exactly what blogging is sometimes–it doesn’t really fit in their social world. I need to find/create a lesson to teach them about how blogging is different from social media.

      • Blogging really isn’t different that social media because its a way that you engage your audience. the only difference is that it is centered around a target audience and their topic should be of something that interest them.

  2. NCTE idea = commentary (blogging) audit. Students must submit the post representative of their best writing AND that generated the best responses/discussion from classmates. They also submit their best contributions on someone else’s post. The audit contains an explanation on why these are the most effective. I haven’t done this, but think I will later in the semester. I give daily grades for posting on-time. As I grade quality for a major grade, I give check marks to those that commented on that post. I also give them a class collaboration daily grade based on # of students posting minus # of students without a comment, encouraging them to take responsibility for commenting on different people. I have more struggles than answers, but thought I’d share what I’m doing.

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