wecf13 midterm and final learning record

Midterm Learning Record Overview

Please complete your Midterm Learning Record document, which consists of the following:

  • completed parts A1 and A2
  • a selection of Observations you feel represents the work you have done thus far in the semester (that is, not all of them)
  • a selection of your work you feel represents the work you have done thus far in the semester (that is, not all of your work)
  • completed part B1
  • completed part C1

Part B1 – Midterm is a “summary interpretation of observations and evidence in terms of the major strands of work and the six dimensions of learning.” For the purposes of this class, the major strands are:

  • Writing in and for Digital Spaces
  • Participatory Culture
  • Critical Thinking, Writing and Reading
  • Technology
  • Collaboration

See the Syllabus for descriptions of each strand. The dimensions of learning are:

  • confidence and independence
  • knowledge and understanding
  • skills and strategies
  • use of prior and emerging experience
  • reflectiveness (critical awareness)
  • creativity, originality, imagination.

See the Learning Record folder in GoogleDocs for descriptions of each of the dimensions of learning. Part B is crucial to the effectiveness of the Learning Record. It helps readers understand what the bits and pieces of evidence gathered really mean for the student’s learning. It does not need to be written like a formal essay (for example, you do not need a thesis; rather you can structure it by course strand and/or dimension of learning) but it does need to connect and reference (yes, do quote from your own work) the observations and samples of work explicitly to development across the five dimensions of learning in the main strands of work for the class.

Part C1 – Midterm is where you make an estimation of your grade based on the grading criteria (see the syllabus or the end of the learning record document) and make suggestions for your own further development. Part C provides an opportunity to reflect over the entire LR and the class, evaluate progress and achievement, and suggest next steps for development. Part C1 will help you take stock of your progress, estimate an evaluation in the form of a grade, and reflect on your plan of work for the remainder of the semester. I will take this opportunity to provide feedback to you regarding your work in class to this point. The midterm serves as a kind of “reality check” to prevent misunderstandings about the level of activity and progress I expect from students in my classes.

Assignment Specifics

There are many different sections of the Learning Record and it is vital that they are put in the correct location.

Note that you are supposed to select work samples and observations you believe illustrate what you have learned since the beginning of the semester. This means that you are not expected (and should not) include all of the work in the Learning Record (work not completed and not included in the Learning Record does not mean that you are excused from the assignment; all assignments much be completed to receive a certain grade). You may, however, include work that was not assigned, such as work completed for another class that uses some of the skills learning in this class, presentations you have given on other locations that use things that we have learned, and so on. For blog posts, you can include the URL in the appropriate place; no need to include the whole post. You may also put links to textual ecology spaces in it is possible to make those spaces public (not all can). Otherwise, you can include screenshots.

Getting Started

  1. Import the lr-template.md file
  2. Export the lr-template file to the midterm document folder (see StackEdit tutorial for how to locate the folder ID number)
  3. Rename the file at the top of the StackEdit window to:
    yourlastname-lr-midterm.md
  4. See What to Put Where below to complete the midterm
  5. Remember to constantly sync the file as you’re working

What to Put Where

When copying and pasting, I suggest having StackEdit open in two separate tabs. This will make it easier than going back and forth between documents in one tab.

Parts A1 and A2
Copy from your current Part A document and paste into the yourlastname-lr-midterm.md file.

Observations
Select observations from your current Observations document, copy them, and paste them into the yourlastname-lr-midterm.md file.

Work Samples
Put the actual documents, files, and so on, in the midterm-work-samples folder in the midterm document folder. Samples that are blog posts do not need to be included there. Just link to them from the Work Samples section of yourlastname-lr-midterm.md. Remember, do not include all your work; just a selection of your work.

Parts B1 and C1
Type and save them in the yourlastname-lr-midterm.md file (you might also copy and paste them into to their own Markdown docs to give you an extra backup).

Exemplars

Here are two sample midterm Learning Records from students in the Spring 2008 section of Writing for Electronic Communities. Note the there were 5 Dimensions of Learning instead of our 6 and their assignments were different.

Use these samples as guides for how long and how to organize part B and C, how many observations and work samples to include, and what type of information to include with your work samples.

Important Due Dates

  • learning record midterm due: Sunday, November 3, by 11:00pm
  • take-home moderations: class-time Thursday, November 21

Please tweet any general questions with the #wecf13 hashtag so the whole class can benefit. Anything specific to your own situation, send questions via email.

Student Suggestions from Part C

Here is a list of suggestions and activities students thought were most useful as written in Part C:

  • I think it would benefit the class to work on something collaborative besides to blog. Maybe we could work on creating questions for a podcast lead by someone in the class or we could work in creating a video mash-up of something connected to the readings or our hashtag studies.
  • I’m not sure what I would suggest for an additional class activity. I think one of the best things we did was to take a class session to talk about the blog. It created a new focus in me, about why I wanted to write, and gave me permission, in a way, to let me create what I wanted to create.
  • I would appreciate more collaborative sessions with classmates to find out their progress on the spaces they’re actively involved in, as well as consistent updates on what they have uncovered in their research topics, so that I can build what they’ve learned onto my research topic. As Kirby Ferguson discusses in Everything is a Remix, everything that we create is in some shape or form is copied, transformed and combined, and I would like to add inspired by what others have done. I think it will be beneficial if we continue distributing our knowledge of various topics amongst each other.
  • I am left a little curious understanding the why of using Stackedit. I understand the need and benefit of having a distraction free workspace but I don’t know if I am convinced that it is that. Maybe a better definition of what makes Stackedit a distraction free workspace.
  • I would also request an exemplar of a student who had perhaps more experience with composing for and in digital spaces.

Final Learning Record Overview

The final Learning Record should thoroughly consider your development along the Course Strands and Six Dimensions of Learning for the entire semester, not just from the time of the midterm. The final Learning Record consists of the following:

  • completed parts A1 and A2
  • a selection of Observations you feel represents the work you have done this semester (that is, not all of them)
  • a selection of your work you feel represents the work you have done this semester (that is, not all of your work)
  • completed part B1
  • completed part C1, including BW’s comments and grade
  • completed part B2
  • completed part C2

Part B2 and Part C2 are expected to be (mostly) original content. That is, do not merely copy and paste and then add to what was written in Part B1 and Part B2. You will, of course, be including Observations and Work Samples from the midterm but I expect you to be adding more, as well. Because you are now considering the whole of the semester, and have my comments on your midterm to guide you and the moderations comments, the goals and scope of the final are different from that of the midterm.

You should be thoroughly inclusive in terms of Observations and Samples of Work. You should quote and include screen shots to provide evidence for your development. Don’t just include examples of proficiency; include examples that show your initial skill level so your narrative can build to your final proficiency. Think expansively about what “work” is. Err on the side of showcasing something that could be work. If you discuss something in Part B2, the work should also be included in the Work Samples. Be sure I am able to see the contents of your work samples by uploading them to GoogleDrive rather than an external site. I cannot assess evidence that I cannot see. Your discussion should be thorough, detailed, and reflective. This is a time for you to show what you’ve learned over the course of the semester, not a time to be bashful. Boost yourself by making the strongest case you can for the grade you think your work deserves. Use the language of the grading criteria itself to help make your point.

Getting Started

  1. Open your Midterm Learning Record .md file in StackEdit
  2. Export the midterm document file to the final document folder in GoogleDrive (see StackEdit tutorial for how to locate the folder ID number)
  3. Rename the file at the top of the StackEdit window to:
    yourlastname-lr-final.md
  4. See What to Put Where below to complete the final
  5. Remember to constantly sync the file as you’re working

What to Put Where

For the Final Learning Record, you’ll be adding Parts B2 and C2 and my comments on your midterm to your midterm document and then saving as a new file. You’ll be updating the Observations and Work Samples sections. Whenever copying and pasting in StackEdit, I suggest having StackEdit open in two separate tabs. This will make it easier than going back and forth between documents in one tab.

Parts A1 and A2
Keep this exactly as it appears in your midterm document.

Observations
Select observations from your current Observations document, copy them, and paste them into the yourlastname-lr-final.md file.

Work Samples
Put the actual documents, files, and so on, in the final-work-samples folder in the final document folder. Samples that are blog posts or other online content do not need to be included there. Just link to them from the Work Samples section of yourlastname-lr-final.md. Remember, do not include all your work; just a selection of your work. But, be sure is thoroughly representative of the work you’ve done this semester.

Parts B1 and C1
Keep these exactlty the same as in your midterm document. Paste my comments on your midterm to the end of Part C1 under the proper heading. (See my email with your comments.)

Parts B2 and C2
Type and save them in the yourlastname-lr-final.md file (you might also copy and paste them into to their own Markdown docs to give you an extra backup).

Important Due Dates

  • learning record midterm due: Tuesday, December 24, by 11:00pm

Please tweet any general questions with the #wecf13 hashtag so the whole class can benefit. Anything specific to your own situation, send questions via email.

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