Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Assessment or I'm Perpetually Behind!

My elbow is starting to hurt....too many hours on the computer today.  I spent most of the day chained to my chair on the computer developing an EOC assessment.  I have spent most of the afternoon and eve chained to my chair on the computer giving feedback to my college students' blog posts.  I just realized that to make it to the end of the semester with them I will have commented on over 380 posts.  This virtual feedback does not include the actual physical papers for this class nor their projects.  Yet as much as this literally pains me, yes,  my elbow really hurts, we know that the feedback loop matters.  (I'll confess too many injuries on the right side of my body from ultimate- dislocated elbow, shoulder, wrist etc..do pain me and I see a massage therapist regularly to keep the pain in check!).

I don't have much else to slice about!  I just wanted to post and get back to providing feedback for my students.  Check out our project here:  http://knightwriting.wordpress.com/  It was my work from the past two years from doing the Slice of Life Story Challenge that inspired me to craft a weekly blogging for all of my college students  this semester.  You never know where the work will lead you.


  1. Playing devil's advocate with you...when I read that you are forcing yourself to comment on every student blog, I'm wondering if you would have given feedback on 380 drafts on paper? I love that they write as much as they do, but I don't think that means that a teacher/professor has to take arms against a sea of blogs and comment on every one. How about one out of every four posts?

    Shouldn't part of the blog experience be on the readers to respond with each other (like a real audience)? Wouldn't it be more authentic to let students go by without blog comments (not feeback, mind you) if their writing did not draw a response from an audience? As far as feedback, how about asking students to reflect and confer with you about their blogs and the comments received, or lack of comments?

    1. Brian- Thanks for your ideas. In the scheme of things, it is 38 comments per week, but the students determined how they would like feedback from me as part of our grand experiment. We are co-collaborators in this process as we are figuring out how to best navigate the digital writing environment with our future students. What makes senses for teachers is a rolling schedule of responses. In the past when I have done this over a shorter period of time with my high school students, I have gotten the help of other adults in my learning community such as my dean to respond as well.

  2. It is nice to read about the impact of the SOLC on someone else. I, too, ended up taking this idea into a university classroom setting. Instead of blogging, though, I wrote a book of question prompts related to the topic I teach for my students to answer. I collect these books three times during the semester to comment on what the students have posted. For me, this is not a tedious chore. I love reading what students think and how they respond to the prompts. (I did start a blog, too, but I haven't kept up with it like I would like to.) Engaging students of any age to get them thinking and questioning things is so important. Bravo to you for what you are doing for your students!

  3. So much writing! What a gift you are giving all of your students with your responses!


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