Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Midterm Assessment: Negotiating Grades

Today we're going to go over midterm assessments (a continuation of Student-Centered Grading).

Starting with the Worksheet
I've prepared a checklist for each of you which includes a list of the assignments, quizzes, and group projects we've had so far.  We're going to replace the regular assignments that would normally be due this Thursday and next Thursday with a combined project.  For this assignment, I would like you to copy the writing you've done so far into a Midterm Portfolio.  You can use a Word document, or you save it all as a PDF (preferred), or even a Rich-Text or Open Office document.

Please note that this isn't about length - this is simply about copying over what you're written so far and then presenting it as a body of work.  I'm not too worried about editing and proofreading at this stage - right now, my main goal is for you to access your works, consider what you've written far, and then assemble everything for sharing.

How to Organize Your Midterm Portfolio
Here's what I'd like to see:

  1. Title Page (with your name)
  2. Table of Contents (optional but encouraged)
  3. Brief Introduction to Your Portfolio
  4. Assessment of Your Current Work in the Class
  5. Your Work from the Semester

Formatting, pictures, and fonts are entirely up to you.  All submissions are electronic (there's a place on the Moodle to upload it).

The Introduction
My hope is that this will be a fun part of the portfolio for you.  Here, I'd like you to reflect on what you've learned in class so far.  Reflect a bit on writing, research, working in groups, Blogger - whatever you feel has been an important part of your class experience.  You'll use the introductions next week when working on your Grassroots articles.

If there is a form of writing we haven't done that you'd like to do, the Introduction is a great place to bring that up.

The Assessment
The assessment of your work will be similar to Student-Centered Grading exercise we did previously, except more focused.  In your assessment, I'd like you to write about the current grade you feel you've earned, the grade you want to earn by the end of the semester, and how you're planning to earn the grade.

Don't worry - I understand that the assessment portion may be a bit strange.  This is my first time trying this out with a class, so I perfectly understand if there's some confusion.  I haven't been quite as clear about the grading standards for this course as I would be for a creative writing course because this is my first time teaching genre studies, and I'm still looking at how best to implement a system which involves everyone in the process.  This is, however, a good opportunity for you to point out which aspects of the class you've found important in your writing development, and which portions were not so helpful.

The Midterm Portfolio will be rough.  It will probably have spelling errors and typos.  You might not enjoy some of the work you prepared earlier in the course.  That's okay - writing is about growth over time.

I don't want you to spend too much time trying to "fix" everything - we'll cover how to do that later on in Unit 3.  I mostly want you to have practice putting together a portfolio, and then to see you reflect on what the work inside represents for you.

Unit 2 / Midterm Assessment - Student-Centered Grading


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