A. Ferguson, BHP Score Team
Arizona State University, USA
Earlier this year, BHP announced a new formative assessment service called BHP Score. The service allows teachers who have incorporated Big History into their classrooms to submit students’ essays for Units 2, 6, and 9. The essays are sent to a team of trained scorers at Arizona State University (ASU) who score them using the BHP Writing Rubric, provide comments to contextualize those scores, and then submit them back to the teachers. Who are the people on the scoring team? The team consists of certified and trained experts who use their backgrounds and skill sets to help assess students’ writing.
Each scorer completes BHP teacher certification and additional training before reviewing student essays. That’s right; each scorer goes through the 9.5 hours of BHP Teaching Big History training. This allows the scorers to learn about the materials and methods that teachers use in the classroom to teach the course. Upon completion, scorers review the content for the unit Investigations. This process involves group discussions about the driving question and texts for each unit. The team also participates in “norming” activities to ensure that they, as a whole, adhere to the BHP Writing Rubric. Although the extensive training prepares the scorers for assessment, they each came well-equipped with prior experience.
Individually, the scorers have various professional experiences that have prepared them for writing assessment and evaluation. Some of the scorers have teaching experience, both secondary and postsecondary. Those scorers have led classroom discussions and facilitated students’ learning and writing. Some scorers are former college writing tutors. Those scorers have experience assessing and evaluating a variety of genres, citations, and writing styles in conversation with both undergraduate- and graduate-student writers.
All of the scorers have relevant educational and professional backgrounds that have prepared them as a team for the interdisciplinary approach of Big History. For example, some of the scorers have English and education backgrounds that inform their understanding of the writing-intensive nature of Big History. Others have backgrounds in history that help them understand the BHP narrative. In addition, some scorers have a background in biology and medical science—a perfect complement to many of the units in the course! Finally, there are scorers who bring their experience in global and interdisciplinary studies—a field that covers many of the themes and concepts of BHP.
The ASU team of scorers is a perfect fit for BHP Score. The BHP certification and extensive training complement the graders’ prior experience and skill sets. The team works hard to provide meaningful feedback for teachers and students. Furthermore, they’re excited to be part of BHP—a project through which they support teachers with the success of their students.