Friday, February 18, 2011

Mid-Term Evaluations

It's time to take stock of how far we have come in reaching the learning outcomes for English 382, Shakespeare. I will be interviewing students next week individually, and in preparation for this I would like each student to write two blog posts. These are due Tuesday morning, February 22nd, by 10:00am:

  1. Progress Report on Personal Learning
    Write a concise narrative in which you give a progress report on your personal learning plan. I will be looking for these things in your report:
    1. Learning Outcomes -- Are you meeting the goals you've set for yourself? Has your reading, research, and writing fulfilled specific learning outcomes?
    2. Reading and Research -- What works by Shakespeare have you read so far this semester? What secondary (critical) works or other resources have shaped your learning? What independent kinds of inquiry have you pursued?
    3. Links and Connections -- Within the report, do you link back to blog posts that demonstrate meeting the course learning outcomes? Do you make explicit connections to other learning and learners or to non-Shakespearean texts?
    4. Personal Impact -- How has your study of Shakespeare been most engaging for you personally? Are you noticing any pattern in your own interests -- a theme, a play, an approach to reading? How is this course helping you to developing life-long learning skills and interests?
    5. Personal Evaluation -- What have you done best so far? What needs most attention?
    6. Peer Influence -- What specific fellow class members have positively influenced your learning experience with Shakespeare? This need not be long. Identify two or three peers and state briefly how and why they have been influential (an in-class comment, a peer comment left on your blog, any out-of-class interaction, a specific blog post they wrote to which you can link, etc.)
  2. Peer Blog Evaluation
    Refer to the list of class blogs. You are to evaluate the blog of your classmate whose name appears immediately after yours in that list. Use the following report criteria:
    1. Number of Posts
      How many posts has this person made? 
    2. Quality of Posts
      The stated standard is "two substantial posts weekly." In your opinion, to what degree has your peer met this standard? (A substantial post is one that keeps focus on learning outcomes, shows critical engagement, personal relevance, and social connection)
    3. A Strength
      You could refer to a specific blog post that is exemplary and state why this is so, or you could refer to a more general good quality you perceive across the blog as it has developed.
    4. Suggested Improvement
      Provide just one or two short constructive suggestions for how your peer could improve on his or her blogging.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ten Tips on Good Commenting

  1. Look for the Praiseworthy.
    Even if you might have something constructive to add, or even if you wish to take issue with a post, first be sure that you identify what that post is doing that's interesting, useful, or on target with our learning outcomes.
  2. Be Specific."Great post!" isn't as powerful as "I appreciate the way that you called into question novels as adaptations of Shakespeare's plays by pointing out how novels are not theatrical.
  3. Make Connections
    Relate someone's post to one of your own, to in-class discussion, to other works of literature, to your religion, etc.