I have spent ~15 hours over the past two weeks practicing the scoring portion of my new AP Seminar class. It has been one of the most frustrating, anxiety producing experiences of my teaching life. Certainly I have gained a new appreciation of the test performance anxiety of my writing students. Even with a rubric attached, I know now how some of them must feel when they try techniques and strategies in their essays that we have practiced in class, and receive less than stellar grades. Practice and revision are paramount to the process, I tell them, and there are some who never rise above their first effort's grades. How frustrated they must feel!
No matter how I many times I review the rubric provided and the scoring evidence provided by the collegeboard, my scoring never gets better. What is most upsetting is that my gut reaction, my holistic judgment, is accurate. I am absolutely sure of it. The rubric gets in the way. When I began scoring (I have read or viewed 28 documents to date), I worked my instincts, and I was wrong, though close, most of the time. Now I am working the rubric instead of my gut, and my scores are approximately as bad as they were initially. Next stage is to analyze how this is happening.
1. Skills not clearly differentiated between points on rubric--especially the "engaging audience" rows for the TMP and IMP
rows 3 & 4 especially repetitive
2. Difficult to avoid focus on writing when it is bad (anecdotal)
3. Can find an example to contradict their example every single time! So evidence provided is unhelpful, not definitive
4. "low" scoring preso in IWA--was almost all 4s. That is a medium score!
5. no place to grade lack of explicit question (as vs. inexpertly created question), lack of address of major areas--the ADHD example mostly addresses anecdotal things, does not even research some important topics within the subject.
If the student is not even asking a question, then the quality of the entire project is compromised--and should be.
6. Row 8 in individual preso- imprecise aspects to judge. Many of the kids don't solve a problem, so I don't know how to score this one.