Case study: Blog assessment

/Case study: Blog assessment

Case study: Blog assessment

Dr Michael Muthukrishna
Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science

Course Name: PB101 – Foundations of Psychological Science

Level: First and second year undergraduates

Class size: 17

Learning objectives

  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Creativity/Innovation
  • Critical Thinking
  • Digital Literacy
  • Employability
  • Engagement
  • Writing Skills

Assessment type: Individual & summative

Duration: over 10 weeks

Supportive documentation

Student examples

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Dr Muthukrishna says…

I asked students to write a blog post about a topic or research covered in class. I told them the best blog posts would integrate multiple topics. Students needed to go beyond the taught material and research further into the topic to find relatable examples from everyday life or interesting case studies that their readers (the general public) may not have heard about.

The assessment provided students the opportunity to connect the dry, abstract science to their everyday lives, but also be able to explain it to a general audience. In line with the oft quoted “if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t really understand it”, this activity offered students an opportunity to assess their own understanding of the material.

The best part of the assessment was reading the fabulous and often funny examples and case studies the students wrote about. Most of them nailed it.

The main benefits to the students are (a) digging deeper into the subject matter, (b) thinking about connections between different parts of the course, (c) self-assessing if they really understand the material to generate examples and explain it simply, and (d) forcing them to communicate complex ideas in simple terms.

Feedback opportunities for this assessment were comments on the submission from the GTA and me, but when I do that again I would have them comment on each others’ blogs so they’re exposed to each others writing and also receive peer feedback.

Students participating in this assessment said they enjoyed the exercise. At least one reported back publishing their blog post on Medium and receiving several hundred page views.