Posts Tagged ‘Assessment’

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My High Wire Act

posted: 5.14.15 by Jack Solomon

Several weeks ago I promised in one of my blogs that I would share the results of an exercise in critical thinking that I was preparing to conduct with faculty in my role as Director of Assessment and Program Review at my university.  Since the outcome of this exercise is equally relevant to the teaching of critical reading and writing—not to mention popular cultural semiotics—I am glad to be able to keep my promise here. [read more]

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Categories: Critical Thinking, Jack Solomon
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Self-Assessment as Final Exam

posted: 4.28.15 by Traci Gardner

This line graph from a student’s final exam shows the progression of forum posts that the student submitted during the term. His goal was to demonstrate his steady progress toward the required number of posts through the entire course.

Just a glance at the graph tells me that the student fulfilled that part of the participation assignment for the course. Naturally, I still spot check the forums, and I keep an eye on students’ forum posts during the term. I ask students, however, to do the work of examining their forum participation and assessing how well they have done by writing a completion report for their final exam. [read more]

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Categories: Assessment, Assignment Idea, Business Writing, Portfolios, Traci Gardner
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Quizzes Work: True or False?

posted: 1.27.15 by Traci Gardner

Last month, I considered the strategy of including quizzes in a writing course. Essentially, while I hated pop quizzes as a student, I thought I might be shortchanging students who do well as test takers. I decided to try quizzes in the online technical writing course during Virginia Tech’s Winter Session.

Now that the course is over, I have to admit that the quizzes seemed useful and effective. Logistically, the system was simple to set up. [read more]

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Categories: Assessment, Business Writing, Learning Styles, Traci Gardner
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Quizzes in a Writing Class

posted: 12.2.14 by Traci Gardner

One of my college professors started our last day on A Farewell to Arms with a one-question quiz: “What is the last word of the novel?” I had finished the novel a week in advance, but did I remember that the last word of the novel was “rain”? Of course not.

I’m still angry about that failed quiz decades later; so when the idea of reading quizzes comes up, I remember the “rain” and vow to never, ever impose such nonsense on students. Nevertheless, the issue is bothering me again: Should I give reading quizzes? [read more]

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Categories: Teaching Advice, Traci Gardner
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Unlocking Grade Levels

posted: 7.15.14 by Traci Gardner

Since I returned to the classroom last August, I have been searching for assessment strategies that worked for me and for students. I tried Assessing Student Work with Rubrics, but found that they weren’t working for me. I had endless trouble Finding a Tool to Grade Online, and my worries about grade inflation and unhappy students led me to want to Forget about Grades.

As I wrote up the Professional Bio Assignment I am using in my technical writing class this summer, I knew I needed to address the issue of assessment for the work students would do. [read more]

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Dialogue: Barclay and Bettina, Part One

posted: 5.7.14 by Barclay Barrios

Today’s guest blogger is Bettina Caluori. Bettina  is Professor of English at Mercer County Community College in New Jersey. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Barbara. For the past four years she has served as the coordinator for English Composition I (ENG101). Before that she chaired a college-wide committee on assessment for several years. In addition to writing courses she teaches American literature and women’s literature.

Barclay: Let me start with a rather broad and general question.  What is your history as a teacher?

Bettina: My first teaching job stands out in “my history” because it gave me an enduring sense of a teacher’s responsibility to devise approaches that enable as many students as possible to learn.  [read more]

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Creating “Living” Messages with a Capstone Multimodal Remix Project

posted: 4.28.14 by Andrea Lunsford

Multimodal Monday Guest blogger Ashly Bender is a PhD candidate, Writing Center Assistant Director, and graduate teaching instructor at the University of Louisville. The assignment discussed here asks students to create rhetorically designed projects that can be circulated outside the course, focusing on writing across the curriculum and writing to make something happen in the world. Because it includes scaffolding activities and assignments leading to a capstone project—as well as ideas for assessing multimodal projects—you might consider how to factor in such a large-scale project when you build your next course schedule and syllabus.

Often both students and instructors imagine that classroom projects only have significance for that course and that semester—especially when most assignments are papers. In response, this Multimodal Remix project pushes students to compose a piece that can “live” beyond the chronological and physical boundaries of the course. [read more]

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Course Evals

posted: 3.5.14 by Barclay Barrios

At my school we call them the SPOT forms: Student Perception Of Teaching.  But no matter the acronym, the existence of the course evaluation is nearly universal.

I’ve just finished reviewing the fall SPOTs for all of our teachers.  There’s a lot of discussion in my department about course evaluations in general and more specifically about how accurately they reflect the quality of teaching. [read more]

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Assessing Student Work with Rubrics

posted: 11.15.13 by Traci Gardner

Tonight, I need to finish work on rubrics for the two different courses I am teaching. I like the idea of using rubrics as part of my response to student work because they can help delineate the nuances between one letter grade and another.

The challenge tonight, however, is how to recover from the flawed rubrics I created for the earlier assignments in these courses. [read more]

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Something There is About Assessment

posted: 10.10.13 by Barclay Barrios

It’s strange being a WPA (in more ways than I can count).  I become most aware of that strangeness when meeting other administrators of various species: chairs, program directors, associate deans.  Sometimes it just hits me: many of these people don’t want to be doing what they’re doing. [read more]

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