Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Wiki, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Chronicles of Narnia series - a wiki (collaborative web pages) describing various aspects of the books and beyond: Narnia Confidential

How could something like this be used in your course(s) to enhance, supplement, or even replace current methods of fostering student-generated responses to readings?

"...there is a blog for every age..."

Do Many Students Keep Blogs?

Yes! According to a November 2005 study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 19% of online teens keep a blog and 38% read them. This represents approximately four million students who blog and is a significantly higher percentage than the adult population (7%). Another Pew study found that 68% of all teenagers have used the Internet at school.

Yet youths aren't the only ones utilizing this method of communication. This uplifting article proves that you can indeed teach an old dog new tricks, such as how to "sit up"' and "post blog." (And any other "dogs" out there that want to learn the "post blog" trick can find links at the bottom of the article that will help you do just that!)

For more information about who is using blogs and what content they can and can't contain, consult these frequently asked questions.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Reserve your Workshop Seat Now!

There are still seats available for the following workshops to be held at The Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology for the weeks of 11/28/05 and 12/5/05.

To register, please contact Kris Sautter at ksautte@bgnet.bgsu.edu or 419-372-0325.

Thank you,

BASIC Photography
November 30 3:00-3:45
This short but focused workshop will help you become familiar with all the standard features of a typical consumer digital camera that you may currently own or are about to purchase. Topics will include: suggested auto settings, uploading images, and camera selection suggestions.

Making Connections With Concept Maps
Thursday, December 1 12:00-1:30
Concept maps allow students to show deeper understanding of a topic by generating categories, making cross links and organizing it all into a hierarchical structure. Participants will engage in a discussion of the current research regarding concept mapping and learning as well as learn how to use concept mapping software such as Cmap or Inspiration to create maps for your course. The culminating activity will be to develop an activity where students are challenged to create a map in order to demonstrate their understanding of a concept, process or event.

Using Epsilen ePortfolio in Your Courses: The Basics
Monday, December 5 2:00-3:30
Dr. Milt Hakel will present how to integrate BGSU's ePortfolio application, Epsilen, in order to develop increased student interaction, reflection and evaluation within your courses.

Advanced ePortfolio Topics: Using Epsilen in Your Program
Tuesday, December 6 2:00-3:30
Dr. Milt Hakel will present how to use BGSU's ePortfolio application, Epsilen, in relation to your program learning outcomes and assessments.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

New Workshops Are Coming Soon to the CTLT!

The Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology is offering a few new workshops in 201 University Hall. Come join us and learn more about podcasting, using Excel for interactive images and an intro to Blogs & Wikis. Please contact Kris Sautter at ksautte@bgnet.bgsu.edu or call 372-6898 to register for the workshops.

Using Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) to Guide Instruction
Wednesday, November 16 1:00-2:30

Many times the only assessing we do of students is in order to assign a grade, but there are other reasons and ways to assess student learning. Classroom assessment techniques offer an instructor some practical, quick and concise ways to gather information about student learning and understanding and help to guide future instruction to foster greater engagement and understanding.

In Angelo & Cross' 1993 book, Classroom Assessment Techniques, they describe 50 different techniques for teacher-centered approaches "designed to help teachers find out what students are learning in the classroom and how well they are learning it." Participants will identify critical course teaching goals that can help them determine appropriate CATs to use with their students and how to integrate these with current instructional practice to guide instruction toward increased student learning.

Creating Interactive Images (using Microsoft Excel)
Monday, November 21 2:00-3:30

Make your diagrams, maps, images and timelines come alive by using MS Excel, transforming them into interactive collaborative pieces. Students and teachers can use Excel to create images that assist in identifying parts, dates, or events while also allowing students to practice online research and citations. Participants will create an interactive file that can be used in their course and also plan a student project that incorporates their creation of one as well. These files can be saved from year to year and made available to future students as study guides, review or samples. We will also discuss how to convert these files into other types of image files so they are also available to anyone without MS Excel.

Creating Podcasts For Your Course - How to Get Started
Wednesday, November 16 3:00-5:00

If you already know the basics of podcasting and you're ready to get started, then this workshop is for you. From utilizing already created or saved podcasts to creating your own from scratch, we will go through all the steps needed in order to meet your educational outcomes. A reference handout will also be provided to all participants.

Student Voices & Collaborations: Intro to Classroom Blogs & Wikis
Thursday, November 17 2:00-3:00
Tuesday, November 22 10:00-11:30

If you're looking for a new way to get your students thinking, talking, writing, creating and analyzing knowledge, then take a look at weblogs (blogs) and wikis. Both blogs and wikis are free online writing tools, essentially webpages where students can write about a prescribed topic or generate one of their own. Blogs are often described as a personal online diary or journal of experiences, thoughts, images, ideas and conceptualizations to which others can leave comments or add their own "posts". Wikis are similar to blogs, but more collaborative since they allow for more than one person to contribute by making changes or building new pages. Both tools are fairly new, especially to the education world, but they offer a new dimension to the learning environment and community by extending the classroom experience, social engagements, and critical voice.

This workshop will provide an opportunity to discuss current research of potential uses of blogs and wikis in your classes as well as create one of your own through readily available online sources. As part of this workshop, participants will generate more discussion by contributing classroom applications of these tools to the CTLT's weblog, "Enhancing Teaching & Learning at BGSU".

Monday, November 14, 2005

An Example Blog about Educational Blogging

Go to the site hyperlinked in the title above to find an example blog about, what else, educational blogging! There you'll find tips about how you can incorporate such a useful tool into your curriculum, as well as see how fun and easy it is to do. Is your curiosity piqued yet? If so, you can simply follow this link to find out more!

Rubrics to Evaluate Classroom Blogging

Here are some useful rubrics for evaluating student blog components of your curriculum:

A quick, one-page PDF version that has ratings of excellent, satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

This is called a Blog Reflection Rubric that addresses several outcomes with each weighted differently.

Here is an example of a holistic rubric, showing all requirements for a given score.

A blog rubric that distinguishes between proficient and developing skills at the university level.

One more example of an analytical rubric for evaluating a blog.

Ever assign a book to read? How about assessing student learning via a "Book Blog"? Here is a rubric to help you evaluate their book blogs.

A colorful holistic rubric (with a typo or two). It's a good example of how to create an easy to read holistic rubric for blogs or other general rubrics.

A simple rubric for scoring student blog posts. Using posts about an assignment on homelessness as an example, this rubric uses 5 categories and a 3 point scale (2=Excellent, 1= Satisfactory, and 0=Unsatisfactory). Scores are multiplied by either two or three to weight them differently for the final tabulation.

This one has some 5 categories scored on a 1-5 scale. Simple, logical and fast.

This one is a 4 point scale for many categories all dealing with blog entries made in response to reading and evaluating a literature article. Some of these might be modified or deleted to make this applicable to other disciplines as well.

This blog rubric addresses the Seven “C’s” of evaluation, on a 10-0 scale to make tabulation and assigning grade %’s easy.

This blog rubric is suited for giving a ‘blog grade’ at the end of a course for a student’s total blog contributions over the course of the term. Especially useful for blogs where students are presented problems and expected to work in groups to solve them by communicating online.

This useful rubric's scale is weighted so that the student’s score tallied out of 100%. This is excellent for blogs where a student has to create their own writing samples in response to questions or prompts.

A handy yet smaller rubric with only 3 categories and a scale of 1-4. Appropriate for journal entries or regular comments about an assigned topic.

A comprehensive blogging rubric with a 4 point scale and 5 categories. Note: Two columns (Beginning Blogger and Developing Blogger) should be switched so that Beginning Blogger and its associated items are worth only one point while Developing Blogger is worth two.

Finally, here is a rubric that can be used for student evaluations for students to post after an assignment or after the end of a course.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Assessing Student Learning Using Rubrics

Here are some resources on rubrics that were shared during our Threaded Workshop Series on assessment:

Designing Scoring Rubrics for Your Classroom (Craig Mertler, BGSU)

Rubrics are rating scales-as opposed to checklists-that are used with performance assessments. They are formally defined as scoring guides, consisting of specific pre-established performance criteria, used in evaluating student work on performance assessments. Rubrics are typically the specific form of scoring instrument used when evaluating student performances or products resulting from a performance task.

There are two types of rubrics: holistic and analytic. A holistic rubric requires the teacher to score the overall process or product as a whole, without judging the component parts separately (Nitko, 2001). In contrast, with an analytic rubric, the teacher scores separate, individual parts of the product or performance first, then sums the individual scores to obtain a total score (Moskal, 2000; Nitko, 2001).

Authentic Assessment Toolbox (Jon Mueller)

Weighting certain skills or categories within the rubric should also be considered.

Create & Save Your Own Rubrics

RubiStar is a FREE online tool to help the teacher who wants to use rubrics but does not have the time to develop them from scratch. There are about 50 categorized templates to start with when creating a rubric for your own assignment. You select appropriate criteria from pull down menus and descriptions are instantly added into the four rated columns. Each criteria, rating/score and description is editable either online in Rubistar or after downloading it into an Excel file.

These rubrics can be printed, saved as web browser files or downloaded as Excel spreadsheets to be manipulated further, as needed. For example, if you'd like to add a column for "Student Self Evaluation", you could do that in the Excel version by simply adding a new column and typing in a new heading as needed.