Session Seven: Discussions Tests & Quizzes

Standard

Thanks to my classmates who inspired me to learn to insert a bit of multimedia into my Blog!

Right Answer

  1. Overall, how well did your rubric work?

Overall I think my rubric was fair and hit upon all the areas I wanted to assess. I had to guess at what the due dates might have been for first post, but I think my assumptions based on the first post date work. My rubric was quick to use; however, focusing on one student at a time was a challenge. I don’t know whether BB allows instructors to view all post and replies from one student at a time? I had to cut and paste the discussions together to view one student at a time. This would take too long if I were doing an entire class.

 Session Seven: Link to Graded Discussion Rubrics

  1. Identify and explain the strengths of your rubric.

Ease was the main strength because it could be completed quickly. I think it got to the core of looking at both quantity, deadlines, and quality.

  1. Identify and explain one weaknesses of your rubric.

I found a couple of weaknesses-

  1. First, I didn’t include a comment section and I found I really needed it. I’m not sure students wouldn’t truly understand my feedback without a short explanation.
  2. Second and most importantly, it is unreasonable to use my rubric on someone else’s assignment without knowing the requirements of the assignment. I assumed that this discussion followed the same guidelines as our own class discussion, but I don’t know for sure. Also, I was developing a rubric for what I would require, so two my requirements (questions & links to outside readings) wouldn’t be requirements of these students.
  3. What changes would you make to your rubric now that you have used it?

I wonder about adding a comment box? I know it would slow grading and since this is a weekly requirement, I really would want something that could be completed quickly, so I’m not sure I would use it.

I think maybe I could avoid the comment book by revising my categories to be more specific.  Here is my original and a revised version that is both shorter and I hope more clear.

Original Criteria Points Possible Points Earned
Made the minimum number of required discussion post by the deadline 20%
Made the minimum number of comments by the deadline 20%
Posting accurately respond to prompt questions 15%
Responses demonstrate synthesis of reading applied to real life understanding 15%
Posts & comments asked questions to facilitate conversation 15%
Posts & comments included links to outside readings 15%
Total 100%

(30% of course grade)

Revised Criteria Points Possible Points Earned
First Posting accurately responded to prompt questions by the first deadline. 25%
Made the minimum number of comments by the deadline responding to classmates’ posting and asking questions to facilitate conversation. 25%
Responses demonstrate synthesis of reading applied to real life understanding. 25%
Posts & comments included links to outside references beyond class readings. 25%
Total 100%

(30% of course grade)

4.  Reflect on what you have learned this week. What have you learned that has the potential to inform or influence you or your practice of online learning going forward? Explain why.

Grade Negotiation Cartoon

I really enjoyed reading Down-and-dirty Guidelines for Effective Discussions in Online Courses because it provided such specific guidelines for facilitating online discussions. I was especially struck by the suggestion of giving students a break from discussion. I’ve watched discussion post taper down in all of my online classes- regardless of the level of participation by instructors. I realize some of this is natural attrition, but I also think the decline is students just tired of the discussions in general. I’m not sure what the solution is because my fear is if-

  1. I were to only use discussion varying weeks, students would be confused by the changing format and this is something Dr. Newberry warned against.
  2. If I just gave a mid-semester break and didn’t require discussion one week, would students “come back” and get back on track the next week?
  3. So instead, could I switch things up and make really easy/different/fun types of discussion post occasionally?

Overall my take away this week is that I need to be far more diligent in keeping up with my students’ discussion boards. I actually really hate reading/grading asynchronous discussions. I am CERTAIN that I spend the time writing useful info that students never see because they don’t go back and reread the whole discussion or look for replies to their post. It just feels like a waste of time, so I tend to be sloppy about doing it. After reading this week, I can see that my sloppiness is leading to student sloppiness. I’m hoping if I follow the suggestion we read this week, students will begin producing the posts I hope to see.

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3 thoughts on “Session Seven: Discussions Tests & Quizzes

  1. Hello Christen, Just wanted to comment on a commonality I had with my rubric as well and share some of my findings in regards to the feedback in the comments we so desperately want to give to students at times.

    A few commonalities in observations: You stated;

    “First, I didn’t include a comment section and I found I really needed it. I’m not sure students wouldn’t truly understand my feedback without a short explanation.
    Second and most importantly, it is unreasonable to use my rubric on someone else’s assignment without knowing the requirements of the assignment. I assumed that this discussion followed the same guidelines as our own class discussion, but I don’t know for sure. Also, I was developing a rubric for what I would require, so two my requirements (questions & links to outside readings) wouldn’t be requirements of these students.

    In relation to your first, I found the exact same thing to be present in mine. And as lucy would have it, as in all higher learning endeavors, I came across some research in attempting to put a better wrapper on feedback within the context of rubrics and its relationship to eLearning. All of the info in regards to this comment is in answer to ques #4 and list item #4.

    The reason I did not restate all of the information is to begin forcing myself to do less cutting and pasting and actually hyperlink the ideas to better allow the creation of a more in-depth mind map of sorts. I feel as yet another commentary in regards to your blog this week is the visuals were spot on as well as you had done last week in linking other work and related materials in your blog you also did it this week as well so Kudos to you!!!

    I attempted to find some relevant media, and did for the most part, I think, but so far Carolyn and Mikko have really seemed to me, at least, to have been able to pull out all the stops in this area.

    In response to your Second item and one that I whole heartedly agree to, I found myself, for the purposes of the assignment, having to set parameters that spoke to the course and the syllabus that the students might have had. It mad me think of syllabi that I have created in the past for courses and exactly what would be needed as it applied to an eLearning course.

    What I also found was that I had to fight off the propensity of wanting to require too much of the students in regards to formatting their responses as again we both had noted that we did not know what exactly they had been instructed to do I their syllabus or rubric for posts. As a segue to additional things that I also found this week, was the thought regarding the support that we must engender to our students as educators , as we begin to see more and more flipped classrooms, distance learning, eLearning and hybrid courses developed. We must remember that along with the rubric provided to students we must additionally provide worked examples of these expectations or projects as nothing that I have come across works as effectively as presenting a completed work. Although I have found through taking this course that the rubric assists in achieving the additional understanding of the objectives: work presented as completed at various levels of grading can and does assist students in developing a much deeper understanding of the material as well as have far fewer questions as to what it is exactly that they need to do to complete the task.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey,
    Let me begin by saying kudos. Am glad you learned a skill from classmates and went ahead to apply it.
    As pointed out in your reflection, I also identified not understanding the requirements of the assignment to be a weakness in my rubric. I had to alter one performance level to fit into what the student had presented. On the other hand, I think this is suitable because it can be used to assess various discussion topics.
    I used to wonder how instructors grade a lot of information presented by students like when doing annotated bibliography, until I learned about SafeAssign tool on BB. So, I believe there could be ways out there that can be friendly to instructors to effectively grade discussion forums. The issue is lack of time to learn all these!
    I like your cartoon- very interesting. The secret is being objective.

    Regards,
    Carolyne

    Like

  3. Brian

    To take a break or not, that is the question. I like your idea of varying the discussion tasks or entry points (use a video to initiate the conversation for example). In a short class, like our 10 week quarters I don’t find a break is needed. By the time some students are getting tired, others have just figured out what to do!

    Like

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