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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Blogging Portfolio

One item to discuss today is the final project for the class, your blogging portfolio. And among the items we need to consider are these:

  • What should it include? (Will it highlight your best blogging, be an overview of what you tend to blog about and/or how you tend to blog, or a combination, or...?)
  • What should it look like? (Will it be a blog entry? Will it be a separate web page?)
  • How will it be assessed?
Here are guidelines for a blogging portfolio required as part of a literature class taught by Dennis Jerz at Seton Hill. (And see the comment on this blog entry that adds some further elaboration from.) We might use these guidelines as a jumping off point for our own.


At Thu Apr 20, 02:49:00 PM, Blogger Donna said...

And some more things to consider:
if your portfolio is a matter of creating a blog post, it would be a good idea to make the post itself representative of your best blogging. In other words, it needs to be enhanced. This is a two-week project, remember.

You can also use those two weeks to enhance your blogs, in order to further enhance your grade pitch (which we decided would be a separate but overlapping document).

At Thu Apr 20, 02:52:00 PM, Blogger J L said...

here's my thoughts,

I think this evaluation of our grade should be about just a few things. First, I think that you have to take our blog as a whole. Just showing pieces isn't giving justice to the blog good or bad. People could be showing 3 good posts in their portfolio, but those may be their only good posts for the entire blog. To me that's wrong. It's like saying how cool my car is even if it doesn't run. The blog is a network of writings, not just bits and pieces of brilliance.

the blog should be looked at as a timeline of progress. Learning is about gathering knowledge. And classes are meant for people to leave them smarter than they arrived. Well, if someone had some good blog posts early on and then trailed off is that really learning? I think our early work should be judged with our latest work to decide if we have made progress during the semester in this class.

That's what I think...

At Thu Apr 20, 02:52:00 PM, Blogger hannel said...

I like the first three criteria listed on Jerz's sample. I think those are relevant to our course. When is this project due?

At Thu Apr 20, 02:55:00 PM, Blogger Steve said...

I don't think we should have to turn in a printed out copy. I think it would sufficient to display 3 of their bests posts, which could be judged on the most interactive, the best-written, or what sparked the most discussion. And maybe include some of your own comments on the blog as a whole.

At Thu Apr 20, 02:59:00 PM, Blogger Donna said...

I think you point out important considerations, Justin.

One way of thinking about or visualizing the blog as a whole is to create a "cloud" for your blog. I have one on my blog, and you can create yours here:

At Thu Apr 20, 02:59:00 PM, Blogger alb said...

It seems to me that the portfolio should draw upon only one's best posts. I understand the j l's thoughts and think that the entirety of a blog and the blogger's efforts are important, but perhaps that could be a component of the grade pitch letter opposed to the portfolio. The portfolio cites exemplary posts and gives some background/framing. The letter offers supporting arguments for what the blogger has brought to the class and learned through the semester in addition to the cited posts.

At Thu Apr 20, 03:17:00 PM, Blogger Megan said...

I like the idea of doing a "cover letter" for the posts we select from our blogs. I think this would allow more flexibility, because then you have a chance to define "best" from your own perspective. I like the idea of using that "cover letter" as a blog entry gateway to your "best" posts, but I also like the idea of creating another place for the posts to go. A place where one can add to their portfolio and reference it. Furthermore, I think if the portfolio is a post, it will get lost in the shuffle of the blog. As the blog gets longer the portfolio will be pushed out of sight. I think another page is a good idea, although I recognize the technical limitations of this. Perhaps we could create posts and then create a permanent link to them in the sidebar so the portfolio is always at the forefront of the blog?

At Thu Apr 20, 03:18:00 PM, Blogger Nicole said...

Haven't we talked about how it is hard to really define what makes good blogging and what doesn't? We have agreed upon some basic components, but it still rather subjective. So, will the guidelines be specific: a post that makes good use of links/other bloggers; a post that provokes discussion; etc. Or, will we choose posts and make an argument (kind of like the grade pitch) for why it is good blogging (ideally including the class discussions)?

I don't know that I necessarily have a preference. I do know I have a hard time evaluating my own work. I always hate it, looking back.

What about including a bad entry and an explanation of why it is bad? Isn't some of what defines good blogging based upon what isn't good blogging?

At Thu Apr 20, 04:39:00 PM, Blogger Dennis G. Jerz said...

By the way, I no longer require the printout. It really wasn't necessary.

I also added a criteria for "timeliness" which, the way I use it, refers to students blogging about assigned readings before the class in which we're scheduled to discuss those readings. That might go part of the way towards responding to j l's concerns.

At Thu Apr 20, 04:41:00 PM, Blogger Dennis G. Jerz said...

By the way, I really like Nichole's comment about including a bad entry... my concern is that students might just choose a random entry that's very short or contains a bad link. What about including an entry that surprised, disappointed, or otherwise affected you the most (positively or negatively)?

At Thu Apr 20, 10:55:00 PM, Blogger Marissa said...

I agree with Justin's comment about taking the blog as a whole. One of the clearly stated course objectives was learning and applying your knowledge to become a better blogger. But I think the question we've all talked around is: how much weight are the portfolio and the pitch going to carry in determing our grade?

My suggestion is we all agree on the weight of each component. Inevitably Donna will have to make some tough decisions on her own, and that element of subjectivity is what probably makes blogging a headache to teach...

What if, for example, the development and content of our portfolio counted as 50%, the pitch counted for 30%, and Donna's own opinion counted for the remaining 20%? That way nobody can bitch about how the final grade was determined...we need more concrete guidelines,people! It's the only way we're going to eliminate some of the potential subjectivity problems.

At Tue Apr 25, 01:37:00 PM, Blogger Donna said...

Regarding the grade itself, I do indicate how I'll determine that in the syllabus:

* Maintain an individual blog and write substantial entries at least three times weekly, beginning no later than week 3 (40%)

* Contribute at least one entry per week to the class “mother blog,” where the focus will be on metablogging (10%)

* Contribute generative comments to class blog and to class members’ individual blogs: aim for at least two comments per week on class blog and at least one comment every other week on class members’ blog (20%)

* Give two 10-15 oral presentations to class: (1) how-to presentation to enhance blogging, and (2) discussion-prompter on blogs in the news (10%)

* Create an electronic portfolio at the end of the semester to highlight your best blogging (20%)

And we agreed that simply meeting each of these requirements would yield a grade in the B-range. However, that's now come up as an issue, because no one believes that they met the minimum when it comes to contributing to the class blog, and also because some believe they've gone beyone the minimum when it comes to making additional contributions to the class and to their own blogs.

So: here's the thing:
(1) The grade pitch is not the same as the portfolio. The grade pitch is your chance to look at the minimum requirements and tell me how well you think you've met them and what I should take into consideration in deciding what your base grade should be.

(2) The portfolio is your chance to highlight your best work. The grade for your portfolio will count 20% of your final grade, and so it will be above and beyond your "base grade." (Let's say, for example, that your "base grade" is a B and your portfolio is an A: that would average out to a B+.)

And now this comment is getting awfully long, so I'm going to create a new blog entry to continue talking about the portfolio.


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