Saturday, December 09, 2006

On Blog Evaluation

David Warlick at 2cents worth has been writing about evaluating blogs.

It makes for interesting reading.
He and others have been wondering how blogs should be assessed. What was pleasing, was to read that they had come across the Blog Reflection Rubric from San Diego State University. Pleasing because we came across it earlier in the year and drew on it in developing our project.

David Warlick makes an interesting if obvious distinction when he asks "'Are you teaching blogging?' or 'Are you teaching communication?'".

What happens if the purpose of the blogging is to draw the student to reflect upon learning, to enhance their learning experience, to draw them deeper into the process of learning, to develop their skills as practioners of learning.

How do you assess reflection?

Perhaps we can draw upon David's further observations. He writes

"Of course, there are some distinct differences between writing on paper and writing on a blog. Your assignment might involve reading the blogs of classmates and then comment, responding to their writings in some way. This would probably require a richer rubric for evaluation, because you are evaluating a conversation, not just the putting down of some ideas"

I don't see that there are any differences between writing on paper or writing in a blog. Paper or a blog involves writing for a particular audience and purpose.
What is to be evaluated the writing or the purpose? A daily or weekly blog entry is no different to a daily or weekly paper journal entry and should be evaluated as such.

The immediacy of blog access provides some interesting differences with paper publishing and RSS makes the monitoring of blogs more immediate; but the content remains whatever medium is used for the publishing. The methodology of blogging may need to be considered as in the San Diego rubric; but apart from the inclusion of links and the possibility of linking of individual blogs and the possibility of a vast audience what difference is there to the methodology of blogging and paper journal writing.

Neither do I believe that the blogosphere challenges our notions of what it means to be literate. Its a medium not a literacy.

David's post is attracting comments and suggestions from other practioners. I'm looking forward to reading them.

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