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EssayTagger is a web-based tool to help teachers grade essays faster.
But it is not an auto-grader.

This blog will cover EssayTagger's latest feature updates as well as musings on
education, policy, innovation, and preserving teachers' sanity.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Adapting traditional rubrics for EssayTagger: Nevada Opinion Writing Rubric (5th grade)

EssayTagger represents an evolution of the concept of a rubric. Here's a specific look at how I adapted an existing rubric to take advantage of the EssayTagger world.

If you're new to the EssayTagger world, here's a primer on how EssayTagger rubrics are different from traditional rubrics.

Tearra Bobula, a teacher at Mark Twain Elementary in Carson City, NV, asked me to adapt the Nevada Opinion Writing rubric. It initially presents a bit of a challenge. It consists of five main sections that each contain a subset of 2-4 additional elements:

(click for larger view)

Let's take a closer look at the first section:

(click for larger view)

Each row of this section pertains to the Statement of Purpose/Focus, but assesses slightly different aspects of that overall area. I would break these four sub-elements down to something like:
  • Statement of Opinion
  • Focus
  • Maintain Purpose/Focus
  • Provides Context
So when I adapted this rubric I treated each sub-element as its own rubric element:

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Latest Update: Administrator Report emails

A simple new convenience feature driven by teacher feedback from my friends at El Camino Real Charter High School out in sunny southern California.

El Camino is embarking on an ambitious effort to coordinate classroom expectations across all teachers. Such an effort requires a bit of a culture shift--your classroom is no longer an isolated private island--as well as some technology support to ease the logistics of so much collaboration and sharing.

Specifically, they needed to be able to share their graded essays with their administrators and other teachers in the school. The interim solution was to print hard copies (ack, no!!!) or manually copy-and-paste the hyperlink to each student's graded work.

In order to support their efforts (which are perfectly aligned with my own philosophy of enhancing school-wide collaboration through data unification), we added a simple Administrator Report feature which emails a list of each student's results and provides a link to their graded essay:

Administrator Report email (fake test data for demonstration purposes)