grading journalism

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Post on 05-Dec-2014

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Not a fan of grading journalism, but you've gotta figure out a way to make it work ...

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  • 1. Grading HighGrading High School JournalismSchool Journalism Simplifying the least-Simplifying the least- satisfying thing Isatisfying thing I have to do in myhave to do in my journalism programjournalism program
  • 2. A syllabus excerpt A syllabus excerpt To be perfectly honest, grading studentsTo be perfectly honest, grading students in journalism is the least satisfying thing Iin journalism is the least satisfying thing I do. Work hard, and you will do well (an Ado. Work hard, and you will do well (an A or A-minus). Fail (which I define as takingor A-minus). Fail (which I define as taking thoughtful, appropriate risks that didntthoughtful, appropriate risks that didnt work out all that well) and you will stillwork out all that well) and you will still receive an A or A-minus. Screw up andreceive an A or A-minus. Screw up and things will get ugly fast.things will get ugly fast.
  • 3. Failing vs. screwing upFailing vs. screwing up Failing = going outside the box, but it didntFailing = going outside the box, but it didnt work out terribly wellwork out terribly well Well done! Keep trying, and well figure out how toWell done! Keep trying, and well figure out how to do it better and make it work!do it better and make it work! Or well kill the idea (but we had to try it out to figureOr well kill the idea (but we had to try it out to figure out it was a failure)out it was a failure) Screwing up = cutting corners, not followingScrewing up = cutting corners, not following guidelines, etc.guidelines, etc. You took some other path than going out and doingYou took some other path than going out and doing good journalism.good journalism.
  • 4. Consequences ofConsequences of screwing upscrewing up Some screw-ups are serious enough that theySome screw-ups are serious enough that they warrant the death penalty for a first offense youwarrant the death penalty for a first offense you can be immediately dropped from the course with acan be immediately dropped from the course with a grade of withdraw/fail. They include:grade of withdraw/fail. They include: Making up quotes.Making up quotes. Misrepresenting yourself or the newspaper.Misrepresenting yourself or the newspaper. PlagiarismPlagiarism NOTE: You need to explain what plagiarism means, andNOTE: You need to explain what plagiarism means, and share some examplesshare some examples
  • 5. Rights vs. ResponsibilityRights vs. Responsibility ANY BEHAVIORANY BEHAVIOR that puts the Gazettesthat puts the Gazettes freedom in jeopardy or otherwise sullies itsfreedom in jeopardy or otherwise sullies its reputation will not be tolerated.reputation will not be tolerated. TELLING THE TRUTH should be the most-TELLING THE TRUTH should be the most- important value in journalism if you haveimportant value in journalism if you have ANYANY DOUBTDOUBT as to whether a course of action isas to whether a course of action is appropriate,appropriate, ASK FIRSTASK FIRST!!
  • 6. How I gradeHow I grade I use the district online grading systemI use the district online grading system (Aeries)(Aeries) Everything is pointsEverything is points Many of my grades are 100 percent, 50Many of my grades are 100 percent, 50 percent or nothingpercent or nothing For example, meeting various deadlines forFor example, meeting various deadlines for stories, think sheets, page dummies, etc.stories, think sheets, page dummies, etc. Three or four of these 50-point grades perThree or four of these 50-point grades per student per publishing cyclestudent per publishing cycle
  • 7. Bigger gradesBigger grades A 200-point grade given by student editors, inA 200-point grade given by student editors, in consultation with meconsultation with me Overall performance for the issue deadlines, quality,Overall performance for the issue deadlines, quality, improvement, initiative, cooperation, etc.improvement, initiative, cooperation, etc. A 200-point grade each issue for submitting aA 200-point grade each issue for submitting a self-evaluationself-evaluation Includes attaching all think sheets and rough drafts,Includes attaching all think sheets and rough drafts, and a list of where stories appeared and explanationsand a list of where stories appeared and explanations of any extenuating circumstancesof any extenuating circumstances A 200-point grade each 18 weeks for aA 200-point grade each 18 weeks for a portfolio/clip book and/or deeper self-reflectionportfolio/clip book and/or deeper self-reflection An all-or-nothing grade, worth more than 10An all-or-nothing grade, worth more than 10 percent, for producing advertising revenue ORpercent, for producing advertising revenue OR making advertising sales callsmaking advertising sales calls
  • 8. Things Ive changedThings Ive changed over the yearsover the years No busy work unless a student violates myNo busy work unless a student violates my dont waste time guidelinedont waste time guideline Reviews of articles from the professional press,Reviews of articles from the professional press, reviews/critiques of other school newspapers,reviews/critiques of other school newspapers, etc. valuable, but no longer requiredetc. valuable, but no longer required Its much simpler than it used to beIts much simpler than it used to be Fewer grades, more all-or-nothing grades, etc.Fewer grades, more all-or-nothing grades, etc. BOTTOM LINE? Grading newspaperBOTTOM LINE? Grading newspaper students is the most unpleasant thing I havestudents is the most unpleasant thing I have to do in my journalism program, so Ive triedto do in my journalism program, so Ive tried to make it easyto make it easy WHAT ELSE CAN WE ADD?WHAT ELSE CAN WE ADD?
  • 9. If we have time If we have time Work on your grading policy.Work on your grading policy. Writer your letter to your principal.Writer your letter to your principal. Perhaps write a letter to your facultyPerhaps write a letter to your faculty Chat with others about gradingChat with others about grading issues/challenges/policies.issues/challenges/policies. EatEat ReflectReflect EatEat NapNap EatEat Etc.Etc.
  • 10. Thanks!Thanks! Karl GrubaughKarl Grubaugh 916-786-8676, x5811916-786-8676, x5811 kgrubaugh@rjuhsd.uskgrubaugh@rjuhsd.us kgrubaugh@att.netkgrubaugh@att.net