Blogs are messy beasts, having a life of their own. You know that your grade on the blog project (700 points total) will take into account many elements—you effort in designing an effective blog, the frequency and quality of your posts, your engagement with news items and other bloggers or writers in your field of interest, and your commitment to comment on your classmates’ blogs.
While I will read and frequently comment on your blogs and blog posts, keeping track of all of this for grading purposes is something of an administrative nightmare. And, having one big assignment be worth 70% of your grade can seem intimidating. So, I will need your help in evaluating your efforts on the blogs.
There will be three evaluation periods for blog grading. For all evaluation periods, you will need to provide a one-page self-evaluation—posted on your blog--as to your progress, keeping in mind the grading rubric and guidelines below. The instructor will review your blog and your record of other work according to the grading rubric provided below and provide you with an evaluation (not made publicly available). The evaluation periods and point allocations are as follows:
February 9th: First evaluation period (200 pts).
March 23rd: Second evaluation period (200 pts)
May 4th: Final evaluation period (300 pts).
The grading rubric provided below indicates how your blog projects will be evaluated. My hope is that all projects will at least meet C requirements; some may not and will receive lower grades, and some may exceed those expectations and receive higher grades.
A “C” blog:
• Has met all of the basic requirements for posting (minimum number of posts required per week, on required topics, appropriate level of civility and formality, deals with topics of class),
• Is clearly written and well organized, with few grammatical or stylistic errors,
• Features posts that are focused on a particular issue, news item, research, or other salient issue,
• Garners engagement from other blog users,
• Reflects engagement with other blogs or publications on the topic,
• Uses multimedia forms of communication well, and
• Is written by someone who also engages other bloggers in the class by commenting on their blogs.
A “B” blog:
• Has fully met all of the basic requirements for posting (minimum number of posts required per week, on required topics, appropriate level of civility and formality, deals with topics of class), and has gone beyond what was required by posting additional posts, using design in surprising or interesting ways, or otherwise exceeding the minimum expectations for the assignment,
• Is clearly written and well organized, with few grammatical or stylistic errors, and is written in such a way that readers are inspired to follow up with comments, or reflects a unique voice and style that suggest additional work or effort beyond the minimum requirements,
• Features posts that are focused on a particular issue, news item, research, or other salient issue, and engages with those posts thoughtfully and meaningfully in original writing,
• Garners engagement from other blog users, commenting on comments and maintaining a dialogue with readers (forming a blog community),
• Reflects engagement with other blogs or publications on the topic, and posts/reflects on that engagement in meaningful and interesting ways,
• Uses multimedia forms of communication well, perhaps creating own multimedia to post, using hyperlinks persistently and well, and making sure content is relevant, and
• Is written by someone who also engages other bloggers in the class by commenting on their blogs (forming a blog community).
An “A” blog:
• Has exceeded all of the requirements for posting, including writing frequent, thoughtful and engaging posts, using blog design in innovative, exciting, or thoughtful ways, and updating posts/comments/design frequently,
• Is written in a clear, unique, and insightful manner such that the author’s voice comes through in an engaging, exciting, and respectful matter,
• Demonstrates a clear willingness to write about the topic and engage with new perspectives; posts are focused, interesting, humble, and seek public engagement,
• Is a respectful, consistent, and earnest member of the classroom blogging community, going beyond requirements to communicate and engage with other writers on his/her own blog and on their blogs,
• Interacts with scholarly, intellectual, or knowledgeable (and/or lay) publics about the topic beyond the classroom blogging community, and
• Persistently uses multimedia forms of communication in innovative, imaginative, or creative ways (maybe even taking some risks).
A “D” blog:
• Posts consistently short, incoherent, or jumbled content unrelated to the theme of the blog or the themes of the class,
• Displays a lack of care or interest in the topic, class, or assignment via the blog,
• Uses multimedia sparingly or not at all,
• Does not engage with important events, ideas, or writers on the topic,
• Is disrespectful or disengaged when interacting with fellow commenters or posters, and
• Does not meet all minimum weekly assignment requirements.
An “F” blog:
• Does not meet minimum weekly assignment requirements,
• Features posts that are irrelevant, incomplete, or inappropriate,
• Does not engage other writers, or engages them inappropriately, and
• Suggests no interest or care.