Blog Assessment

Blog Assessment #8 (11.19-12.2)

Regularity: 3.25-  This has steadily increased over time and that’s great. However, one team member still isn’t up to par.

Comprehensiveness: 3.25- Because one member still isn’t posting we don’t know where everyone is at. We have, overall, a good idea where the majority of you are with your individual research and as your progress as a team, but we still need more from the person not posting as much. We wanted to point out the PAR research post as well. You got so many comments from so many other teams and there were so many great thoughtful reflections and interactions. It was exactly what we’re looking for. When you post these kinds of posts, you’re going to get thoughtful feedback. Awesome.

Teamwork: 3.5 – You’re still continuously improving with teamwork. We can see how much you like working together and helping each other work through issues and questions. Keep up the good work.

Quality: 3.8 – The theme and formatting of the blog is wonderful and a joy to read.

Across blogs: 3- We’ve noticed the increased amount of participation on other blogs as well as your own. Keep that up. More of your team needs to get involved doing this. The member who are engaged are doing a fantastic job.

Total= 84%

Blog Assessment #7 – (covering posts through 11.18.12)

  • Regularity: 3.5 –  You’re still doing well on this but there was no improvement.  Taylor has really stepped things up; she and Anne carried the weight, Grace is still lagging behind a bit with only 3 posts.
  • Comprehensive: 3.5 –  A definite improvement with a group meeting and the very helpful photo of your concept map.  Brenna and Lynnzie still have posted autobiographies.  You’re doing a great job questioning the basic tenets underlying your team work.  This, however, may be one of the reasons you are severely lagging behind on the community partners; you really need to kick that phase into high gear.
  • Teamwork: 3.35 –  Again, you are getting increasingly stronger on the blog with respect to working together.  You’re leading the way here, but it can always get better.  You continue to do a solid job of responding to each other via comments.
  • Quality: 3.7 – You changed the theme a bit and it made a HUGE difference as far as load time goes.  You also continue to do a great job with images, formatting, etc.  There are, however, uncategorized posts.
  • Communication across blogs: 2.1 – Better, slightly.  You could step this up, especially those of you who aren’t doing this as much.  Post on other’s blogs and they are more likely to return the favor.

Total: 80.9% – first team above a C+!

Blog Assessment #6 – (11.8.2012) (Note: This only includes posts from 10.22-11.4. Posts since 11.4 will be included in next assessment)

  • Regularity:  This improved this week! Have a much better idea where most of you are with your individual theses…although there is still some variation in how much we know about each person. Good! Keep it up and take it one step further! 3.5
  • Comp:  Group meeting breakdowns are really helpful. Good summaries. We still have a better idea where you all are as individuals than as a group. Some discussion of generation citizen. Push further this discussion of potential community partners as it’s so important to establish this relationship THIS semester so that the research/activism project can begin next semester.  3.0
  • Teamwork –  We saw some of you really engaging in comments on each other’s posts. Keep that up – not just the moral support, but the substantive support. We noticed that one person’s chart influenced others to consider doing the same. Keep commenting on each other, offering real moral *and* content support as you move forward. This will really help all of you out next semester as your conversations will bring you together and help you see your own individual projects through a new lens.  3.0
  • Quality– Great job with images/concept maps. We strongly suggest you change the theme…as we are facing problems with the way it loads, making it difficult to load. Are you facing the same problem? 3.5 
  • Communication across blogs– Step up the substantive feedback (not just moral feedback) on others’ blogs, and we suspect you will receive more substantive feedback from your peers on your blog! 1.5
  • Total = 14.5 points, 72.5%

Total points: 9.8 — 49%

Blog Assessment #5 – (10.22.2012)

  • Regularity:  You guys did well with the amount of posts this week; there were 10 posts among the 5 of you. However, we consider 2 per person (averaged out) the minimum and you could do better.  The distribution of posts however is not even. – 3.0
  • Comp: This week, for posts it was: Anne with 5, Brenna with 1, Lynzie-2, and Taylor-2 (GRACE?!).  We really only got updates on progress/where you are this week from 2 people. We know where 2 our of 5 of you are, which is not good at all.  We also got a little bit about the group progress, but it’s hard to get the full picture when 3 people haven’t weighed in. – 1.75
  • Teamwork – As for teamwork it’s obvious that one person is carrying the weight, a few people are contributing, and one person is absent.  A lot of great community partners have been thrown out there but there hasn’t been any response. That shows a lack of teamwork. Unless you guys talked about it outside of the blog and we don’t know about it…so then post it! Commenting and challenging each other (where warranted) is part of teamwork and allows us to see how you’re developing collectively. – 1.75
  • Quality– You’re blog is very aesthically pleasing. It’s relatively easy to read. We stress adding more visuals to make it more engaging. Pictures, especially relevant ones to your posts and research are great. – 2.8
  • Communication across blogs– Only one person has commented on other blogs…get going! -.5

Total points: 9.8 — 49%

Assessment #4 – (10.14.2012)

  • Two posts “Uncategorized?”  Someone needs to teach Brenna how to assign categories to her posts.
  • We asked you about your “purpose” page.  In essence, there is no “About” page that exists.  Who are the individuals behind Education Thesis?  Please let this be the last time we post this suggestion.
  • The summary of your group meeting was very helpful for us.  We got a glimpse of where everyone is, or at least was last week.  However, posting on the blog is completely out-of-whack.  Anne, as always, is keeping up her posts and they are very helpful at getting to the root of where she is in her research and thinking.  Lynnzie posted a couple and it was great seeing that others responded to her request for help.  Brenna and Taylor have posted, but nothing more specific about their research.  And Grace was MIA this week.
  • Speaking of Grace, we asked that you post your autobiography.  Another thing we do not want to remind you of again.
  • Because of the group meeting notes, we’ll give you a 2.0, but you need to address the imbalance in posting issues and find a way to embrace this blog as part of your team process, as opposed to an assignment in Capstone.

Assessment #3 (Posted on 10/8 for the week of 9/30-10/7)

  • We applaud that all group members posted this week. And we applaud those who commented on each other’s posts. This is important for group dynamics and the thesis. In the coming weeks, we expect continued contribution from all members. Moreover, we expect even more in-depth discussions related to process.
  • This week, there was a lot of heartfelt discussions – and admissions of frustrations, feelings of being overwhelmed, etc. On the one hand, this is painful. But this (although some of you hate it) is why the blog exists. The blog should complement in-person communication. But when in-person communication fails, it allows for a new facilitation process. And there were calls to get this group together in-person and to not rely on the blog solely. We echo that call.  This week we need to see action on this front. And then, that meeting, needs to be blogged about so we know what is going on and to help all of you process what takes place. Also, please consider meeting with tom and kara *as a group* (and leah if her schedule allows). We are here to help in facilitations. But you as a group need to come to us and take ownership over this process.  When you do this, we are confident that this project will become less of a “group project.”  And if now, we will continue discussions.
  •  Consider, perhaps, a group plan when it comes to blogging to ensure more equity in who is doing the blogging. There is still some inequity there. Check out plans/strategies some of your peer groups are taking. And yes, blog about those plans.
  • Also, consider a group plan when it comes to other deadlines and a community partner. We realize these things will be easier to talk once your group meets and facilitates group bonding and relationships-building.
  • Last week, we said your purpose page was missing. This week, someone posted about their purpose, but the purpose page itself seems to be gone. Add that. Call it whatever you want – but basically,  we want an about page – who all of you are, what is guiding your intersets. Check out your peers’ group blogs.  All members need to contribute to this.
  • Make sure to post your autobiography if you’ve already given it in class! And make sure that the photo images are accessible and online. Could not find the pics of the member who already posted.

Assessment #2- 9.30.2012

Here is what we’ve got this week:

  • We still have some absent bloggers…where are you!? There are a few dominant posters, and although those posts are great, we still need to hear from everyone. The progress from the group meetings gives us some picture of where you all are individually, but we need those individual posts as well to get deeper into the projects.
  • Speaking of group meetings: great web! Excellent way to start those crucial connections. That web shows how you’re all related to each other through that broad topic of “education”. Now, using that web, start trying to find that underlying theme or lens that you’ll tell your stories through. Refer back to Kara’s example for International Sport and using the Olympics (either upcoming in Brazil or the last cup in SA) as a lens. Is there some theme/topic/event/country you could use as your lens to approach from all of your different interests? Finding a connection like that could help progress your topics individually as well as collectively. For comprehensiveness this week, you’re at a 2. We know where you’re at as a group, and we’ve seen those updates, but because some team members aren’t updating on the individual level, we don’t fully know your progress. There needs to be that balance between both group and individual updates so we can help you to the best of our abilities.
  • the Purpose page is still empty. Please fill it asap with whatever you were intending…!
  • Also, when you post your autobiographies after you do them in class, remember to include your images in the blog as well.

Assessment #1- 9.23.2012

Eduthesis bloggers–here is some feedback so far:

  • The widgets on your sidebar aren’t that helpful. Edit your sidebar to include things that are useful to the reader (as well as the authors) for navigating and sorting through the posts. Or things that are just neat.
  • Along the same lines, you currently don’t have a ‘categories’ widget and that’s a necessity for organization so please include one ASAP
  • You need some sort of “About” page so your readers can get a feel for what your blog is all about. If that’s where you’re going with the eduthesis page, then that’s great. Just get that up when you can.
  • For the people who have presented their autobiographies, those need to be posted on the blog under the autobiography page.
  • You have a couple of uncategorized posts that need categories. They’re so lost!
  • We’ve noticed that mainly 2 of your team members are posting and some haven’t even posted at all…this needs to change!
  • We really don’t know how your progressing, so on a scale of 0-4 for the comprehensiveness criterion, we’d give you guys a 0. We need to see meeting summaries, individual updates, as well as those connections you’re making between the individual projects.

Blog Assessment Criteria

  1. regularity – how often are entries made? The more, the better but don’t post just to be posting, give us all a good sense of how your team is progressing.
  2. comprehensiveness – are we aware of how the team is doing, what problems you’re facing, which ones have you resolved, have you found opportunities?  We ask: Do we have a good sense of what is going on with this team and their project?   Do we see how the team is incorporating global/local and macro/micro connections?
  3. teamwork – are the entries (in terms of both quality and quantity) distributed evenly among team members?  Do we get the sense from the blog that all team members are fully committed and engaged in the project?
  4. quality of entries & aesthetics – are the entries well-written? Do the aesthetics (look and feel) of the blog suggest quality, something about which the team cares?  Are the aesthetics reflective of the personality of this team and its members?
  5. communication across blogs – are members of other teams providing significant suggestions, questions, and feedback on this blog?

16 thoughts on “Blog Assessment

  1. lynnziemm on said:

    zero? really? I totally understand that this is just the beginning of blog assessments and that we haven’t really done much yet, but we at least blogged about the topics we are considering and possible community partners. That doesn’t merit at least a 1? or a 0.5? 0 implies that we have literally done nothing

    • Exactly! Remember, the question (copied from the criteria) is: “Do we have a good sense of what is going on with this team and their project?” Also, it does not imply you have done nothing. If you have, we do not know about it. There is often a difference, which is why we encourage a lot of updates to ensure that doesn’t occur.

      • lynnziemm on said:

        Right, but my point is that, while we haven’t made very much progress so far, the little progress that we have made has been blogged about. We have written about the direction that our individual topics are going and we have written about possible community partners that we are considering. So you DO know what we are doing.

  2. t.r. king on said:

    A recommendation: Take this energy back to your team and apply it to ensuring that, by next Sunday, we know everything there is to know about how your team, and your project is going.

    • lynnziemm on said:

      Fine, tom, but I have a recommendation for you as well: don’t act like you like to be challenged and then respond to my challenge, as insignificant as it may be, by telling me to take my energy elsewhere.

  3. t.r. king on said:

    i love to be be challenged, especially on my thinking and, yes, on my policies and practices as well. But this assessment is none of the above.

    This zero is not a grade. It can’t be. We have left it up to all of you to initiate a discussion on what will be assessed this semester, how it will be assessed, and by whom (see the syllabus / seminar outline document). Thus, we were left with either just giving you comments and that’s it, or coming up with some kind of indicator of where you all stood from our viewpoint. This is why i said put the energy into improvement because, at this point, the zero is a subjective interpretation–socially constructed by the facilitation team–to give you an idea of where we think you all are, relative to what we would like to know about your team. It means nothing else, it won’t be recorded anywhere but here. It is just feedback. If it is not helpful feedback, ignore it and build your case for why you think you deserve a higher score OR ask for more specific information if you need it. By telling you to redirect your energy, i was not deflecting a challenge i didn’t like, i am trying to say that there is no reason to challenge something meant to help you, as oppose to judge you. Again, if it doesn’t help ignore it.

    But you have accepted a passive role here, Lynnzie, responding to our feedback as a student would. By the way, your response assumes we have the power we don’t, that is, power we have shared. As stated above we have asked you all to take the initiative–an active role–in determining assessment. So you could have also, then, come up with what you think is a better way of assessing the blogs. After all, that is what you are all supposed to be doing and, if you don’t–as we said in the seminar outline doc–it will all fall to us and then you’ll have no say whatsoever, no basis for challenge. We REALLY hope you will not do this. Yes, we will have a say, but we are asking for collaboration.

    Thanks for allowing me to better explain.

    • lynnziemm on said:

      Dear tom,

      I was trying to build my case for why I think that we deserve a higher score than our meaningless zero and then you told me to use my energy elsewhere. So here is my case:

      Your assessment says “We really don’t know how your progressing, so on a scale of 0-4 for the comprehensiveness criterion, we’d give you guys a 0” (Please note the incorrect use of your/you’re. This is frustrating) However, if you were to read our blog, you would know about the individual topics that we are considering, although no one is 100% positive. You would know, from my post summarizing a group meeting, that Anne and I are heading in the direction of education as a form of empowerment, and that Taylor and Grace are thinking along the lines of bilingual education. You could also read about Taylor’s interest in language education in an individual post that she wrote. You would also know, from a couple of Anne’s posts, about some of the community partners that we are considering and that she has been researching. While our progress is not much, it is accurately blogged about. Zero is a number that implies nothing. Our progress may be minimal, it is not nothing.

      I have no complaints about your blog assessment system- I actually find it quite helpful. I realize that the main point of it is not at all the zero, but the suggestions that you have for us. However, I am unbelievably stubborn and cannot walk away from an argument. And since I don’t think of us as defined to the traditional student/teacher relationship, I have kept responding to your posts.

      So since our power is shared, I urge you to reconsider giving us somewhere between a 0.5 and 0.99, instead of a 0.


  4. t.r. king on said:

    hahahahaha, i love honesty. It is duly noted that you have given your blog a 0.5!

    We cannot tell from your blog if you folks have even met. We will talk on Thursday about why starting a dialogue among you is so crucial.

    Again, the important questions here are how we assess, who assesses, and what is the purpose of assessment. Those are the critical issues. Not the numbers.

  5. Hey all,

    So I am also a little peeved about our assessment “grade”. I am fully aware that I am lacking on the personal participation (and this will change), but I’d say that we at least deserve a 0.5 like Lynnzie said. As far as the widgets go, I know they are currently not there and that is confusing for our readers, but I swear that they were there last week when we had the WordPress workshop. Anne was adding all the personal categories during it. I think when we recently changed our theme/background, they got lost. I don’t know how, but I am very sure that they were there a few days ago. But we will fix that.

    Though it’s not a lot, our group has met a least once a week since Capstone started. And this has been documented!! Refer to September 13th and I quote “A quick update on our progress: The five of us met today in Slavin and discussed more in depth the ideas that we had for the topic of education and the directions in which we could see ourselves taking it. While no one is exactly sure of the specifics of their topic, we talked about a few broad education-related concepts.” Then September 18th, there’s a nice photo of the Slavin floor (kinda random, but whatever) that says “meeting space” as the title. The September 20th safespace post was the result of our discussion on the 18th. If that was unclear, then our bad. We will edit it or something, but we did physically meet to chat about the space space. So that’s at least two physical gatherings. So can we get a .25 for each meet up? Jaja.

    Basically, dialogue has been started, which at least Lynnzie and I seem to think is evident in some degree on the blog. If there is a way that we should be more clear, let us know specifically, but I cited directly from our blog above. I know it’s just the beginning and we’re working out the kinks, but I think our blog is better than a zero.

    Buenas noches,


    • t.r. king on said:

      How about this: let’s step out of the short term and wait until next Sunday to assess the impact of our score on your blog? See you here next week.

  6. t.r. king on said:

    People seem to have little patience for the kind of back-and-forth this exchange represents. Let me explain why i think it is important.

    There are two primary reasons. First, we–as the instructional team–have decided to “flatten” Capstone as much as possible. This means that we reject the notions of “sage on the stage” and students in seats.

    Kara and i, as all other PC GST profs, do not have degrees in Global Studies. We know our fields but those are just a part of the larger puzzle. And, also like the others, we dearly love learning about global studies. It enriches our understanding of our own fields. And yes, we do have experience and knowledge about creating learning environments. So we are passionate learners with some knowledge to bring to Capstone.

    You, the pebbles, as you have already seen through the seven autobios thus far, bring such rich experiences to Capstone. You also have knowledge about global studies we do not have. You have sat through many courses in the major, a few about which we have little knowledge. You see connections we do not. So you are passionate learners with some knowledge to bring to Capstone.

    The person who has, perhaps, the richest view of all of this, is Leah. She has been through the entire major and was a co-teacher for many of you. She’s been out for a bit and has had the opportunity to reflect on her learning in GST and connect it to a couple of intense post-grad experiences, one abroad, the other in education. She’s a passionate learner with much to give.

    What’s common among us all is that we are passionate learners ALL with things to give to this experience. One more thing: Your faculty have been talking about all of you for three years. We knew, pretty much from the beginning, that this class was going to have tremendous potential. If YOU all didn’t see that before, you certainly are getting that sense now.

    So, given these two factors, and the urging of last year’s Capstone research team, we decided to take the notion of creating a learning community to the extreme. We started to step aside–with respect to sharing the creation of this experience–and invite you in as early as Spring. You were reluctant at first, but it was summer. We put a few things in place so that we did not enter into a vacuum, but are still stepping aside (not out) and you are starting to fill that space. It’s shared governance, and shared power and control. It’s collaboration.

    So when one shares power in this sense, one cannot just resort to dismissing questions and challenges that were posted here. We have a responsibility to address them. Democracy, sharing power, takes a lot of time and patience.

    Which leads to the second primary reason this back-and-forth is critical: You are all programmed. Most of you learned this in 101. You have given up tremendous agency over the years and conformed to structures that fundamentally changed you. To break out of this takes awareness, courage, and a lot of practice.

    In stepping back, we have changed the structures for this seminar. But just because we did that, it does not mean it is simple for you to stop acting caged.

    In exchanges like this, and many others, you will learn how to move from the passivity of a “student” to the responsibility of one who has a stake, a voice in the outcome. You will stop “challenging the man,” and realize we are in this together and MUST WORK TOGETHER (caps for emphasis, not screaming). You will see the powerless in complaining about a number, and work to create a just, more accurate system that pushes everyone to excel, and without judgment.

    So yes, i love challenge, but the first time you speak truth to power–as HUGE as that is–is only a first step. What i really love, what i crave, is when you understand that we truly are working together, that you decide to work alongside us, and learn how to share that power.

    i’ll end this (no, Sharron, i can’t stop writing novels), with one of the most heart-breaking things i’ve ever read about human potential, about the transition from the wild creature that “Libby the Beast” is becoming, to what i encounter the first day in most of my classes. It provides a lot of motivation for me, i hope it just might for you, as well.

    The Panther

    His vision, from the constantly passing bars,
    has grown so weary that it cannot hold
    anything else. It seems to him there are
    a thousand bars; and behind the bars, no world.

    As he paces in cramped circles, over and over,
    the movement of his powerful soft strides
    is like a ritual dance around a center
    in which a mighty will stands paralyzed.

    Only at times, the curtain of the pupils
    lifts, quietly–. An image enters in,
    rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles,
    plunges into the heart and is gone.

    – Rainer Maria Rilke

  7. lynnziemm on said:

    tom, did you mean to post this on our blog?

  8. lynnziemm on said:

    Is it a violation of “shared power” to change the blog assessment ourselves?

  9. i told everyone on FB they ought to read the exchange. Doesn’t mean they will, but there are almost always reasons i do things other than the obvious

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