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Adolescent Diary Weblogs and the Unseen Audience

Conversations in the Blogosphere: An Analysis "from the Bottom Up". Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-38) Best Paper Nominee.

Weblogs as a bridging genre

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The Performativity of Naming: Adolescent Weblog Names as Metaphor

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Last Updated November 22, 2005.

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New books are added but reading status is rarely accurate.

June 08, 2005

Qualitative vs. quantitative grading

New Kid on the Hallway has a very good discussion of qualitative vs. quantitative grading in their post Grading and grade complaints (another cross-blog comment).

I much prefer to give letter grades rather than numbers because I'm very comfortable describing the qualitative difference between a B paper and an A paper (or even a B, B, and B+ papers); given the way the 100 point scale works, however, a B can be anything from an 83 to an 88 (or whatever range you use), and I'm much less comfortable making distinctions within that point range - what is the difference between an 83 B paper and an 88 B paper? or an 83 B paper and an 84 B paper? Because you know there's going to be that student out there who has calculated their grade and figured out that if they get the 84 instead of the 83, they will get the A- instead of the B+, and they're going to argue for that damn point. But if I give a student a B, then they've earned a B. I'm sure some would argue that the B should be a B+, but to me, the difference between a B and a B+ is much more significant than the difference between an 83 and an 84 (and I know an 84 isn't a B+; my point is that a B and a B+ feel like much more different grades than an 83 and an 84 do). I suppose one of the things this reveals, really, is that I don't think in terms of numbers when I grade papers. Instead, I think in terms of scales, or degrees. Paper X does this, this, and this that I asked students to do; it goes in the A category. Paper Y does this and this but not that; it goes in the B category.

I agree and I wonder if all of the "purely" quantitative researchers can explain the difference between say an 89, 90, and a 91 grade in their classes. My guess is they can't because the distinctions are too fine. I certainly have never heard anyone talk about writing rubrics that cover all the point levels individually. Man now that would be a master work to read...but I sure don't want to write the thing that way.

Read the whole post it's very well done.

Posted by prolurkr at June 8, 2005 10:40 AM

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