Some Thoughts about Assessing EduBlogs
How should educators approach assessment for edublogs?
I would say that it depends on many factors, but one crucial question to ask is whether you plan to assess learners in terms of process or product. It also depends on the learning space you design for learners.
Some intial thoughts:
For a private blog, in which you are invited by a learner as an observer, assessment might take the form of a couple of pause-points throughout the course, in which you ask a series of guiding questions to prompt learners to engage in their own self-assessment.
For an autonomous blog, a learner might be assessed based on a combination of checklists (identifying tasks accomplished within the learner’s sandbox, for example). It might involve a self-reflective post, based on a rubric, or it could involve peer review, in which the learner chooses the peer to review/critique their work. In some cases, such bloggers might choose to be assessed by the instructor, and enter into a dialogue prior to the assessment about what will be in fact evaluated.)
For anonymous blogging activities, one assessment activity could be to involve learners in a peer discussion on the strengths and weaknesses of the process, the nature of the individual learners’ interactions, and follow this up with a self-assessment, evaluating one’s own, as well as the group’s, participation.
For therapeutic, or transformational blogging, one might argue the assessment by others might not be appropriate. perhaps giving learners choices in how they want to be evaluated, could make it more meaningful for them. Contributions could be self-assessed in terms of a rubric. Learners could engage in pause-points, or participate in focus groups to discuss their overall experiences. In such blogging spaces, item-based evaluation might seem picky and counter-productive. Frequency of posts, length, type of content, etc., might be a consideration, if only the learner chooses to apply it in their evaluation schemes, but do so in consultation with their instructor.
These are some preliminary ideas on assessment. I would appreciate any feedback on these ideas.