Practical Theory - The Origin
The Scholars in CyberEnglish
ToDaY's MeNu - Ted

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I love this time of the year as I am able to assess my scholars' work. I have their webpages to view and their folders with all the printouts of their pages loaded with my comments.

Throughout the semester, I go to the class blog and open the pages of the scholars who were in class, so that I can assess the day's work. I do this everyday of the semester. I find I spend less time assessing the scholars' work then I did before I used technology. The procedure is to go to the scholar's page, access the page that was worked on, view the page source, copy the code, paste it in a word processing program, double space the text they wrote, and print it out. I assess the code if I need to and the text. When the scholars enter the next day, they collect their assessed work and login and make the corrections and continue working on the document.

CyberEnglish has become more of a writing class. The scholars spend nearly 90% of each class writing and reading. They read texts and classmate's pages. They write their pages in class, especially since so many of them don't have access at home, work, or have to care for their own children. While they work at their computers, I work at mine viewing them work on my computer which allows me to view their screens. I speak to them about their work as they work from a far. These become the teaching moments. I use what I see on their screens as the fodder of those times I speak to them as a class and have the power of displaying a scholar's page on all the scholars' screens. Because I have all this technology, I find I am doing so much more teaching then I did before this technology.

Assessment is a daily process. The technology lets me view the work as it is being created. This is not really possible for teachers who don't use technology because of handwriting and scholars tend to hide their work till they are done. So I can intercept a problem before it compounds itself. Each day, I have access to the day's work because it is online. I have control of how I view their work and this is important. I format the product and never have to deal with handwriting or different formats or different paper.

Feedback is key in any writing class, as well as any other class and CyberEnglish continues to amaze me at its power, especially when it comes to assessing the work of my scholars. After a brief conversation and demonstration with a colleague, I think she is more open to trying it next semester as she slunk off to continue her final assessment, which I have completed.

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