Tuesday, April 27, 2010

ESL: Grading creativity in 'creative writing'

Jason Renshaw describes the problem very clearly and asks for help.

... I would probably look to divide my grading rubric into two sections:

1. (Completed by teacher) - General grade out of 10 for things like mechanics, language use, cohesion, etc.

2. (Completed by readers) - An average of all readers' responses to the writing converted into a score out of 10. By this I mean I would have several other students in the class read the writing and give it a score out of 10 based on how effective they felt it was and how much they enjoyed reading it. I would then calculate an average of all those scores.

It's not perfect, but it does bring peers and real "readers" into the picture, and emphasizes the need for writers to consider a potential audience for their writing. It may well have as many risks as bonuses, especially considering how sensitive teenage students are to their peers (and how cruel some teens can be to each other!). There is also the risk that writing for an audience - especially an audience of peers in the very same room - could very well inhibit natural and free-flowing creative writing efforts.

So personally I'm a little stumped.

Anyone out there got any ideas about how to effectively evaluate creative writing efforts?

My teacher friend and I would love to hear from you!

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