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More Help for Assessing Student Work in EdBlogs

Assessing student work in a course blog can be challenging for instructors, especially for large classes. Earlier, we posted an article about a feature we added to Edblogs called the "participant's page." This open-source WordPress plug-in creates a page for each student with links to all posts and comments made by that student, which facilitates a review of the work performed by each student in the class.

Recently, we received a request from Carol Lin, lecturer in biological sciences, to export student work information to a spreadsheet, thereby tracking all student activity in one location rather than on individual pages. Professor Lin's need arose partly due to her sizable class enrollment that would make it difficult to assess student work using the aforementioned "participant's page". She was expecting over 400 blog posts and 750 comments by the end of the semester.

CCNMTL staff developed a new feature for EdBlogs that outputs all blog activity into a comma separated values (CSV) table. Now, whenever Professor Lin wants a snapshot of student activity to date, she adds "participants_report" to the end of her course blog URL. The EdBlogs system will then generate a downloadable CSV file that can be opened in any spreadsheet program. This new option is now available to any instructor using the EdBlogs system.

The report includes name, UNI, entry type (post or comment), title, category, and entry URL. The report can then be sorted and organized to assess student contributions and can be integrated into her own grading sheets. While assessing students still takes considerable time, Professor Lin was grateful to have the raw data necessary to incorporate student effort, all 394 posts, into the final grades.

(Entry modified June 7th, 2011 to include link to "participant's page" WordPress plug-in code.)