Friday, June 20, 2008

Implementing the Transformed Grade Book

Theron DesRosier, Jayme Jacobson, Nils Peterson

Previously we described ideas on Transforming the Grade Book, by way of elaborating on Gary Brown’s ideas of a “Harvesting Gradebook.”

Here we demonstrate an implementation of those ideas in the form of a website with student work and embedded assessment. This demonstration is implemented in Microsoft SharePoint with the WSU Critical and Integrative Thinking rubric as the criteria and a Google Doc survey as the data collection vehicle, but other platforms could be used to contain the student work and other assessment rubrics delivered in other survey tools could be developed. (Note- this implementation is built with baling wire and duct tape and the implementation would not scale.)

There are four examples of student work (a Word document with track changes, a blog post, a wiki diff and an email), to illustrate the variety of student work that might be collected and the variety of contexts in which students might be working. This student work might be organized as part of an institutionally sponsored hub-and-spoke style LMS or in an institutionally sponsored ePortfolio (as WSU is doing with SharePoint mySites) or directly in venues controlled by the student (see for example the blog and email examples below) where the student embeds a link to the grade book provided by the academic program.

Examples of Assessing Student Work (aka transformed ‘grading’)

The first example is a Microsoft Word document, stored in SharePoint, and included in this page with Document Viewer web part. You are seeing the track changes and comments in the Word document. In some browsers you will see pop-up notes and the identities of the reviewers.

To the right of the document is the rubric for assessing the work. Clicking on “Expand” in the rubric will open a new window with details of the rubric dimension and a Google Doc survey where you can enter a numeric score and comments of your assessment of the work with this criteria.

This survey also collects information about your role because it is important in our conceptualization of this transformed grade book to have multiple perspectives and to be able to analyze feedback based on its source.

In our description of the workflow that for this assessment process we say:
Instructors start the process by defining assignments for their classes and “registering” them with the academic program. Various metadata are associated with the assignment in the registration process. Registration is important because in the end the process we propose will be able to link up student work, assessment of the work, the assignment that prompted the work, and assessments of the assignment.
This demonstration shows one of the important impacts of the “registration” -- as a reviewer of the student's work, you can follow a link to see the assignment that generated this piece of student work, AND, you can then apply the assessment criteria to the assignment itself.

Finally, as an effort in ongoing improvement of the assessment instrument itself, the survey asks for information about the learning outcome, its description and relevance, with the assumption that the rubric is open for revision over time.

In this demo, you can complete the survey and submit data, but your data will not be visible in later parts of the demo. Rather, specific data for demonstration purposes will be presented elsewhere.

The second example is a blog post, in Blogger, included in the site with SharePoint’s Page Viewer web part. Again, to the right of the post is the rubric implemented in the form of a survey. With the Page Viewer web part the reviewer can navigate around the web from the blog post to see relevant linked items.

While this demonstration has embedded the blog post into a SharePoint site, that is not a requirement. The student could embed the rubric into the footer of the specific blog or in the margin of the whole blog. To demonstrate the former of these ideas, we have embedded a sample at the bottom of this post. Adding criterion-based feedback extends the power of comment and trackback already inherent in blogging.

The third example is a Wiki Diff, again included in the site with SharePoint’s Page Viewer web part. Again, to the right is a rubric implemented in the form of a survey.

The fourth example is an email the student wrote. This was embedded into the SharePoint site, but as with the blog example, the author could have included a link to criterion-based review as part of the footer of the email.

A subsequent post will address visualization of this data by the student, the instructor, and the academic program.

Please use the rubric below to give us feedback on this work:

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