I’ll be teaching a 2 1/2 hour workshop today on blogging for educators in Gaston County North Carolina (where I grew up).Â In preparation, I have tried to address a question, or a series of questions, that I have sensed more than actually heard in my blogging workshops.Â Most of the time in these workshops is spent explaining what blogging is, why it is important culturally and instructionally, it strengths, weaknesses, dangers, and the wonderful opportunities.Â We just haven’t gotten around the assessment, especially in terms of the ethical aspects of a world with everyday, everybody journalists.
So I will be suggesting five questions that will be asked, not by the teacher, but by the student, as a way to assess blogged content.Â I call the questions “Blog’Whats?”:
– What did you read in order to write this blog entry?
– What do you think is important about your blog entry?
– What are both sides of your issue?
– What do you want your readers to know, believe, or do?
– What else do you need to say?
These questions assume that blogging is seen as a practice of literacy, accessing, processing, and communicating information.Â They also serve to help the writer to focus on the broader aspects of the issues being written about, exploring all sides and perspectives, and even exploring the next phase of the communication.
I think that these same questions, reworded only slightly, can also be used to examine and evaluate the blog writings of others, other classmates, and other blog content being used for learning.Â Those questions would be:
– What did the blogger read before writing?
– What was important about the blog entry?
– What were both sides of the issue?
– What do you know, believe, or want to do after reading the blog?
– What else needs to be said?
Please suggest other questions, or other ways to assess blog work?