Thursday, August 30, 2012

Two interesting perspectives on the way higher ed assessment is turning. First, a communications professor from Florida State University, is using scores of social networking popularity called Klout in course grading. Second, a professor for a massive open online course (MOOC), which includes "tens of thousands" of students, is using "peer grading" to grade papers. An article from Inside Higher Ed captures the lack of consistency and rigor in peer grading. It is a course on the history of cyberstructure and is offered by Coursera through the University of Michigan. Two points: Asking peers to apply rubrics might be a first step, although I've noted in my own research that no two instructors apply the same rubrics in the same ways. Obtaining reliable grading takes time and practice. Perhaps such training and calibration processes need to be set up online? Second, I don't see anything wrong with incorporating a real world metric to students get a feel for it, but expecting them to develop a following in the 12 to 16 weeks of a course seems a bit unrealistic.