Muddling through the blogosphere

Blog Rubric – A Work in Progress


I think it’s important that students understand that blogging is different then IMing or text messages – two genres associated with fast, spontaneous dialog. To justify blogging within the school day, I believe our students should gain a sense of audience, which, depending on the blog project, may extend across geographic, socio-economic, and generational boundaries. And let us not forgot the administrator, be it a curriculum “coach” or even a supportive principal. How can we justify the in-class time if we do not promote opportunities for our students to grow as writers?

With enhancing student writing at the core of this post, I am throwing out a rough draft for a rubric. As I toy with this draft, I’m thinking of the students in the Youth Radio podcasting project. The problem with this draft is that it’s my words and does not yet reflect the voices and input of the students themselves – or any exemplars/non-exemplars. I’m hoping to get with Jim Faires’ class when they come back “on track” for some feedback and a revision session or two.


Blog Rubric

A Road Map to Full-Credit Posts and Responses


  • Blog Etiquette – Shows clear respect for the learning process and patience with different opinions. Shows initiative by asking others for clarification, bringing others into the discussion.

  • Critical Thinking – Entries indicate critical thinking and personal reflection about the discussion topic and an understanding of questions and comments before responding. Makes connections from ideas of other Youth Radio members.

  • Writing – Entries show excellent command of Standard English.


  • Blog Etiquette – Shows respect for learning process. Comments often encourage others to participate.

  • Critical Thinking – Most entries indicate critical thinking and personal reflection about the topic. Ideas are interesting enough that other participants respond to them. Comments are logical but may not make connections from other Youth Radio members’ posts/responses.

  • Writing – Entries show good command of Standard English.


  • Blog Etiquette – May make some insightful comments; however, by insisting too forcefully, or by not participating enough, does not contribute much to the overall progress of the discussion. Word choice and tone may send negative messages.

  • Critical Thinking – Posts indicate limited personal reflection about topic. Comments may not always flow logically from previous comments or responses.

  • Writing – Entries contain a number of grammatical and/or spelling errors that may cause readers confusion and interference with understanding.

Not Yet Meeting the Standard

  • Blog Etiquette – Displays little respect for the learning process. May respond about individuals rather than about ideas.

  • Critical Thinking – Responses display a lack of preparation and/or reflection.

  • Writing – Numerous grammatical and/or spelling errors make entries difficult for reader to follow.

My favorite online road map so far to “good blogging” was posted by Susan Ettenheim to the Youth Voices elggWhat’s Good Blogging on the elgg? Intended to be read online, this resource uses hyperlinks to provide examples and additional explanations. It also includes a great list of sentence starters.

And for the billionth time, I’ll reference David Warlick by ending with his guiding questions for evaluating a blog:

When reading a blog, ask:

  1. What did the author read in order to write this blog? What did he or she already know and where did that knowledge come from?
  2. What are the other points of view? What are the other sides of the story?
  3. What did the author want readers to know, understand, believe, or do?
  4. What was left unsaid? What are the remaining questions and issues?

When writing a blog, ask:

  1. What did you read in order to write this blog? What do you know and where did that knowledge come from?
  2. What are all points of view on the issue?
  3. What do you want your readers to know, understand, believe, or do?
  4. What will not be said? What are some of the remaining questions about the issue?

Oh, and I like Kathy Schrock‘s Guide for Evaluating a Blog.

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  1. Hi
    This looks thoughtful and might help take our project a step forward. Right now, to be honest, the Youth Radio endeavor is kind of a “when we have time” project and not fully integrated into any part of my curriculum, which makes it hard to fully evaluate.
    But I think raising the expectations is important and your rubric is a great starting point for us.
    Thanks for all the hard work

  2. Hi Kevin,
    I really posted this one in response to Alice Mercer’s request for a blog rubric, not because we don’t have a YR rubric. You can see her comments under my post on TTT. I have found that involving students in building the rubric, not surprisingly, promotes better writing in any project. I’ve also been meaning to gather some samples because teachers who attend my workshops are always asking about the evalutation piece.

  3. Thank you SO much for this! I think I’m at the point where I do need something like this. I’m looking it over, and trying to think what projects I’ll have the kids do in this unit for writing. I like these, and will probably incorporate them in some way to what I do.

    I’m thinking of maybe showing the kids how to “pre-write” their posts in Word, and copy and paste them in so they can get the grammar, and spelling hints?

  4. I think pre-writing in Word is a good idea. Luckily, copy & paste into Edublogs seems to work pretty well.

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