Assessment Guidance for Blogs

a. Practical Guidance for using blogs for assessment

Computer Keyboard with Pencil, Phone and Note Pad
Creative Commons License Marco Verch via Compfight

i. Edublogs

1. Blogs (short for weblogs) are very good for formative assessment, informal and collaborative work and discussion. Useful for assessment with small cohorts. There are excellent, intuitive, industry standard tools for creating content and giving students control.

2. It is exportable for students after they leave.

3. Use blogs with caution as they can be edited post submission. A blog formatted the standard way does not have a lock down tool. However, see numbers 8 and 10 below for other options.

4. Marking should be carried out on the live blog to enable interactive elements.

5. Print to PDF (which is automatically available as an option) is our recommended submission route which retains formatting and captures static record but loses media embeds. This can be submitted using the studentcentral assignment tool (do not use TurnItIn which will match with the actual live blog).

6. You could choose to ask students to submit a record of the RSS feed if you don’t need formatting and just require content.

7. You may wish to ask students to select which posts they choose to submit to encourage reflection.

8. My Class blogs is another option which gives the tutor control to lock down student blogs – this has increased overhead by tutor to set things up and requirement for students to have logged in once and management to lock down on a per blog basis. Useful for small groups and where the tutor is happy to take on the administration.

9. Note: if external elements are referenced they are outside the students control and may be removed. Tutors must be aware of this and inform students of how this will be marked.

10. There are workflow options available where students can contribute to a shared module blog but not published outside of the university. You may wish to explore this option. Students enrolled on a shared blog as contributors cannot delete posts, giving control to the tutor, the Administrator on the blog site.

Do speak with your Learning Technologies Advisor if you have questions about using a blog as part of an assessment.

ii. Studentcentral blogs

1. This is an ideal tool for assessed blogs however it does not have the features and interface and ability for public blogging we have with EduBlogs. It cannot be customised with themes or plugins.

2. Where students are writing for the first time this may be an ideal tool as content remains within the module area.

3. Assessment settings can flag in the grade centre where a student has completed a specified number of posts making engagement marking simple.

4. Group blogs are automatically built into studentcentral groups.

iii. External blogs

1. If external blog, student should submit URL and a pdf record or zipped file of html for a static record.

2. If you are allowing assessments from external blogs please speak to your LTA for advice and see the External tool policy which asks for a rationale of why the in house tools are not sufficient.

b. Policy issues that should be considered when utilising blogs for assessment:

i. How long should blog be live after the assessment deadline?

ii. Does the blog need to be locked down: are you assessing their ability to blog (ongoing) or a specific point in time?

iii. Social Media guidelines for assessment of public work and complications of plagiarism checking?