Metawriting: collaborative assessment

Hi all,

I follow Deanna Mascle’s Metawriting blog, and I found something that resonates with Group Two’s presentation. Mascle is a doctoral candidate at Morehead State, and she reflects really interestingly on, in her words,  “writing pedagogy, agency and efficacy, and teaching with technology.” She recently wrote a piece on collaborative assessment that I loved.

The part that grabbed me the most was her articulation of how, exactly, she goes about structuring the class conversation. She writes:

“We review the assignment – specifically addressing the goals and purpose of the assignment and how those goals connect to the student learner outcomes for our class. I then have students brainstorm for a while about the essential qualities of a successful assignment. We then collaborate as a class to develop a definitive list of those qualities. After we have the list, we then discuss the priority and weight of each quality and what it looks like on this assignment.”

I’m really interested in the student brainstorming about what makes a realized assignment successful. (Her use of assignment above is a little confusing – she could be talking about the assignment as assigned or the assignment the student produced. I think of realized assignment as mediating that tension and functioning as the produced one.) This kind of meta-level conversation about learning comes up often in my classes, and I am always struck that it only comes from me about half the time. The rest of the time, my students bring it up.

Just like Lamott, Mascle goes on to look directly at the overlapping issues created by the presence of anxiety in the classroom and the influence of power. I’ll leave that here for now, but I’d love to continue to think collaboratively and practically with you all on ways to address anxiety head-on and turn its energy around to the positive.

Finally, Mascle has another great idea that deserves its own post, perhaps, since it essentially describes our group in some important ways.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!