grading website analyses
I’ve been grading. Last year I was frustrated at how much time we spent on grading at the end of the semester, when it wasn’t going to help the students learn at all. Now I know that that’s called summative assessment and that what I wanted was formative assessment, assessment that actually helps students improve. So this year, students are handing in short essays that are being graded as we go. I realise this is pretty standard in much of the world, but it’s very weird for Norwegian universities. When I was a student you were left completely to yourself all semester, apart from the lectures in huge auditoriums, and then you had two week or eight hour exams at the end of each year. Yes, very old-fashioned pedagogy. I liked the independence of it, though.
For this assignment I asked the students to write 600 word textual analyses (readings) of websites, where they were to define and answer a clearly stated question. They’ve done great jobs! The assignment details and descriptions of grading criteria are available as a PDF, and the work was posted in the students’ weblogs, with trackbacks to the main weblog for the course.
The students kept asking me to show them examples of readings of websites. I couldn’t find them many. At least now we have a collection here.