Another dot in the blogosphere?

Should tweets be graded?

Posted on: September 16, 2014

You can grade tweets. But should you?

Trying to grade tweets is like grading a ‘live’ conversation or a transcription of one. It is very difficult to do because you have to do one or more forms of discourse analysis.

If you click here to read the responses to the original tweet, only one person so far asked WHY the teacher wanted to do this. The rest suggested half measures at best on HOW to collect and assess tweets.

If a teacher wants to grade tweets to ensure that students tweet, that is not a good enough reason. The same could be said for participating in LMS discussion forums.

Students going through the motions so that they are not penalized is not the same as learning. If you create a rubric or scoring system for tweets, then kids will learn to game the system. The point behind tweeting (e.g., summarizing, one-minute reflections, crystallizing key concepts) could be lost.

Teachers need to rethink why they want to grade discussions or tweets. After all, they do not necessarily assess group work conversations or other social interactions.

Social conversations are one way of making the processes of learning more transparent. These then lead to individually or collaboratively generated products of learning. The processes are harder to capture and evaluate; the products are not.

But there are other ways to record processes: Progress logs or reports, presentation of updates, behind-the-scenes or making-of videos, peer interviews, peer evaluations, and more. These are more timely, strategic, and more logical to manage.

Just because you can do something like grading tweets does not mean you should. You need to know why you are doing it and you must be able to justify the means to the ends.

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