Grade Blogs

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You can grade participation in blogs for individuals and groups. You can grade the quality of the discussion, as well as the number of entries and comments that are made by an individual or a course group.

When you enable grading, a column is created automatically in the Grade Center. You grade students’/participants' blog entries from the blog topic page. All of an individual student's/participant's entries—and comments made by others—appear as you determine the grade. The grades show immediately in the Grade Center.

You access the blog topic page in the following ways:

  • In the blogs tool, access a blog and select a user from the All Course Members drop-down list.
  • On the Needs Grading page, access a blog’s contextual menu and click Grade All Users.
  • In the Grade Center, locate the column for the blog you want to grade. Move the mouse pointer over a cell containing the needs grading icon—the exclamation mark—to access the blog’s contextual menu. Click Grade User Activity.

You can decide whether or not students/participants can view their grades and feedback in My Grades by editing the column information in the Grade Center.

When you edit an assigned grade from the blog topic page, the Grade Center is updated.

Change a Topic From Graded to Ungraded

You cannot change a graded blog topic to ungraded. You need to delete the graded blog topic from the Blogs listing page and the Grade Center and create a new ungraded topic.

Alternatively, to retain entries, set the blog's Grade Center column to not be included in calculations. In essence, the blog continues to be considered graded by the Grade Center, but any results or grades assigned are ignored.

The Blog Topic Page

The blog topic page is divided into two main sections. You can view the entries in the content frame. In the sidebar, you can view information about the blog topic or entry, expand the Index, grade the blog entry if the blog is gradable, and select an individual user’s name to view his or her entries alone in the content frame.

A. On the action bar, click Create Blog Entry to add your thoughts.

B. Below the action bar, the Blog Instructions are expanded by default. You can minimize them.

C. In the sidebar, you can expand the Blog Details section to display information about the current selection, including the author and number of entries and comments. Click the right-pointing arrow to collapse the sidebar for more viewing room for entries. Click the four arrows to view the blog entries and sidebar in full screen.

D. For All Course Members, click the down-pointing arrow to view a list and select a member. The selected member’s entries appear in the content frame. Optionally, click Show members without entries.

E. The Index section displays the titles of the entries created during the selected time period. Click the minus sign to collapse the title list.

F. Use the left- and right-pointing arrows to navigate to the previous or next student.

G. For graded blogs, icons designate the status of a user’s activity. The needs grading icon—the exclamation mark—indicates that a user has met the minimum activity for grading you set for the blog. The in progress icon appears when a user has some activity, but has not yet met the minimum number required to trigger needs grading status.

H. In the grading sidebar, provide a grade and feedback for a student/participant.

Individual Blog Grading

You can begin the grading process for blogs from the Grade Center, the Needs Grading page, and the Course/Organization Tools section in the Control Panel.

While specifying blog settings, if you did NOT select the Show participants in needs grading status box and select a minimum number of entries, the needs grading icon will not appear in the Grade Center, on the blog topic page, and items do not appear on the Needs Grading page.

The in progress icon shows in the Grade Center cell and in a blog:

  • For student/participant activity that does not meet the minimum number you set.
  • If you did not select the Show participants in needs grading status check box.

Use the following steps to grade blog entries:

1. Access the blog topic page and select the blog entry or entries to grade. The user’s blog entry or entries open in the content frame.

2. Type a point total in the Grade box. If you associated a rubric for this graded blog, expand and complete the rubric. To edit an existing grade, click in the Grade box and change the grade.

3. Optionally, type Feedback for the student. In the Add Notes section, make notes that appear only to you and the grader role. You can also use the spell check function in the bottom of each text box. The icon for Click to open full content editor gives you access to all the content editor functions.

4. Click Submit to add the grade, feedback, and grading notes to the Grade Center.

Group Blog Grading

On the blog topic page, you can read all the entries for a group blog and add one grade. Users with entries that need grading are indicated with the needs grading icon—the exclamation mark—in the Grade Center and on the blog topic page in the All Group Members drop-down list. In addition, the group blog is listed on the Needs Grading page.

On the group blog page, the grading sidebar appears, listing all group members.

When you add a grade for a group blog, the grade is automatically given to all members of the group and is populated in the corresponding column in the Grade Center for each group member.

All members are assigned a grade, regardless if a member did not contribute, although you can change this grade. Students/Participants can view their group blog grades in My Grades and in the group blog by selecting their names in the All Group Members drop-down list.

Change an Individual Member's Group Grade

You can assign an individual group member a different grade than the group by editing the member's grade. If you change a group member’s grade and assign a new group grade, the new group grade will not affect the individual’s new grade. Individual members only see one grade, not what each member earned. The individual’s new grade will not appear to the other group members.

In the grading sidebar, click the pencil icon to change the group grade for a member. Type a new grade and click the check mark icon to save it. This grade becomes an override grade.

The group grade and the individual group member’s edited grade also appear in the Grade Center. Grayed out cells appear in the group blog column for course members who are not part of the group.

Revert a Member’s Edited Grade

You can revert a member’s edited grade to the original group grade, which all group members received.

In the grading sidebar, click the pencil icon for the user with the edited grade. Click the left-pointing arrow to change the grade to the original group grade. The override icon is removed. The change also appears in the Grade Center.