Day 16: Wilson Vs. Gallagher: Battle of the Rubric

Today in 350:

We began with talking about happy things that happened over Fall Break.

  • Beth didn’t have to drive to Muncie for 2 whole daysScreen Shot 2016-10-14 at 11.26.38 AM.png
  • Cassie picked up her cat from the vet
  • Rachel met the Author of Percy Jackson…and he retweeted her!
  • Dr. Benko had a relaxing/writing weekend, and got to sleep in until 7am.

Everyone turned in their This I Believe Essays and Reflections.

Since we all had many meals and sleeps during Fall Break. Rachel started the class with our conversations from last Thursday (10/6)

Digitally Convenient or Digitally Enhanced?

Here is the Google Doc for our conversation over the TIB podcast and Joel’s Book Trailer.

Is the Podcast convenient or enhanced?

Many said that it was more convenient than enhanced, but knowing that it was going to be recorded had an effect on they way they wrote.

Rachel asked if even though the podcast was considered digitally convenient, does it still have merit?

Cassie said that it depends on how you use it. It does teach inflection, and is more engaging.

Beth said that it would be a good way to introduce students to working with digital media.

This conversation ended with this idea:

Even though the podcast was defined as digitally convenient, it may be used effectively as a scaffold to work students up to creating more digitally enhanced projects. Therefore, digitally convenient and digitally enhanced to not need to work as opposite, they can exist together.

“Now let’s talk about everyone’s favorite thing! Assessment!”

We discussed the positive and negative aspects of using rubrics.


can individualize rubrics

helps grading in a timely manner

clear descriptions of what is expected


Students may write for the rubric, and not for their own purpose

Rubric may not represent the writing

Wilson vs Gallagher 

Maja Wilson argued that using rubrics would take any real human response away. However, Gallagher showed that there are many ways that we can balance rubrics and human response.

Screen Shot 2016-10-14 at 12.15.28 PM.png

Most agreed that Wilson’s article was solved by Gallagher’s chapter on Assessment in Teaching Adolescent Writers.

Brittany pointed out that Wilson had a very rigid use of rubrics, and fell into the same trap of students who worry about rubrics too much.

As A Side note: Dr. Benko asked us to think about numeric conversion when creating our rubric…

For the midterm, Don’t use numbers like 4, 3, 2, 1.

989e684fa333a4c45968c49854e86994.jpgThey don’t translate correctly, use percentages instead.



If you use a model, say it.

Things Dr. Benko asked us to think about when creating a rubric:

Good writing is good writing. How do you boil that down to a rubric?

“Good writing” as a blanket statement does not exist, but good narrative, good poetry, etc. does. What is my student writing? What makes this kind of piece good?

Rubrics will change with different genres of writing.

After these conversations, we separated into our midterm groups to discuss what we think should go on our rubrics.

For next time:

There is no reading. Just work on your midterm! Drafts are Due Tuesday 10/18, and we’ll be having peer review in class. The finished product is due Thursday. Good luck!

Oh, And a little something extra:

Here is an article from English Journal called “The Infamy of Rubrics” by Michael Livingston. I thought this would be interesting because actually cites and mentions Maja Wilson’s article in his piece. Enjoy!

– Makayla


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