CU student Hunter McQueary meets with 8th grader Willie Edwards to discuss his writing piece.
Among those in the Marion County Knight Academy library providing feedback to students on a recent on-demand writing assignment was Hunter McQueary, a college student enrolled in Campbellsville University’s school of education. McQueary was one of 13 CU students that participated in MCKA’s most recent live scoring session, where 8th graders met with scorers immediately following their essays being reviewed to receive verbal feedback.
“I’ve taught lessons, but this was my first one-on-one teaching experience,” McQueary said.
Throughout the day, the CU students along with MCPS curriculum coaches and classroom teachers met with students in Ms. Cana Herron’s 8th grade classes to complete the live scoring session.
This partnership with CU began when Assistant Professor of Education Susan Blevins learned about the live scoring sessions from a student of hers. Blevins and MCPS instructional coach Dana Thomas have since worked together to provide a valuable experience for pre-service teachers and an efficient means to provide interpersonal feedback to a large group of students.
Thomas recently published a piece in the online magazine Kentucky Teacher about the live scoring process.
Amber Wolf, another CU student involved in the live scoring, admitted that meeting one-on-one with students provided an enjoyable alternative to more traditional forms of student observation.
“It’s fun -- I’ve liked it,” Wolf said. “Most observations hours are spent in the back of the class, but with this you get more interaction with the students.”
Pre-service teacher Ashlyn Flock, also a CU student, said the most challenging part of scoring student writing for the first time was “wanting to be fair” to the student writers.
“I start by asking the students first how they think they did,” Flock said. “And then we get into the writing piece.”
The university students went through two one-hour training sessions with MCPS instructional coach Dana Thomas to get accustomed to the analytical scoring rubric, which was designed by MCPS, and score sample essays.
This isn’t the only time MCPS and CU plan to partner with this type of experience. According to Thomas, CU students will be involved in future live scoring sessions and could possibly work with MCPS for opportunities outside of the ELA setting.
Not only does the current arrangement benefit both institutions, the relationship could also pay dividends in the future. MCPS Chief Academic Officer Tammy Newcome sees the partnership as a way attract and recruit future teachers to the district.
“It’s definitely a win-win for everyone involved,” Newcome said.