10 July 2010

WIKI WORK: Grades and Learning-friends or foe?

Working on our class wiki, I instinctively know that the students are achieving authentic learning, but I am also still bound by more traditional assessment policies. So there is a constant struggle between wanting to roll with it, with the kids, and fitting the learning experience into a framework in which I can assign them grades. (I just read those two sentences, which prove how torturous the relationship of the learning and the grades are.) My latest attempt as a solution will place the focus of the grading on early stages of wiki creation, rather than their unique products. If they are to create quality content for our wiki, perhaps an initial mini-lesson about good vs great wikis would improve their evaluation of their own work. The steps in this mini-lesson might go like this:
1) critique two selected wikipedia pages together in class.  I will choose these--a good one and a great one. After judging the pages, we will decide what makes the great one great. 
2) students will work in small groups to develop a list of traits they see in a great wiki page, post the lists on our chat page in Studywiz.
3) homework that night: review and comment on at least two other lists. Comments will include comparison of items which show up repeatedly as well as items which you feel are not useful or are repetitive, with an eye to voting on the final list items next class
4) list of "Great Wiki Traits" finalized in class. NOW they develop a rubric for their own performance as we go into next phase of project. If needed, practice use of rubric or traits model in class on a wiki page from last year's wiki.
5) go to Tech Center and start with their  rubric in their hands. I usually provide a wiki start page with some ground rules and links to get them started. The first wiki the seniors develop include various world mythology pages. They work in small groups formed by the preferences they noted on our mythology newsboard in the classroom. 

I can assess their work on developing the "Great Wiki Traits" as well as their honest, purposeful evaluation of the other traits lists on the chat page.  As they work on their own wiki, I can point out the aspects of the rubric that they must attend to. As always, we will stop and evaluate the plan as we go--once they get into the wiki construction, they may see flaws in the rubric and need to amend. I love that part. I am thinking that this may tighten up the project, while ensuring that control of the wiki does not rest entirely in my hands. Any suggestions, things I missed, always welcome

1 comment:

dfreund said...

Way to go Mrs. Healey! Nice post.