This is for my Social Psychology class - for assessment and communication. I hope you find my thoughts interesting and please feel free to comment!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Appendix A: Self-Assessment

Appendix A: Self-assessment

1. Theory
I found a few key theories presented within the literature surrounding homophily and discussed these accordingly. I discussed the attraction-similarity hypothesis, explanations for that theory, reinforcement theory and balance theory. I would have liked to discuss these theories in much more depth, however the word limit restricted me. In retrospect, I possibly could have made greater use of appendices in this area, however I did not want to remove important content from my post. I also made links to the theories of homophily in comparison to examples from my own life and this helped show the relevance of the theory to everyday life examples. Therefore I felt I appropriately met this criteria.

2. Research
Research on homophily was very interesting and I found several difference pieces of information. However I had to limit my use of research material in order to fully discuss the research in adequate detail. Even so, I feel that I choose appropriate research to assist my essay on homophily and adequately flushed out the relevant details. I would have liked to include more research into different components of homophily, but again the word limit restricted me. In retrospect I feel I possibly could have made better use of an appendix in this area, but again I did not want to remove important content from the body of my post. Even so, I feel I appropriately met this criteria.

3. Written Expression
Readability analysis:
Flesch Reading Ease: 12.4
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level: 12.0

Within my blog I used APA format of referencing both in-text and in my reference list. Consequently I feel that my blog will reflect appropriate use of APA style referencing. Additionally, I used a table to illustrate my personal relationships in comparson to homophily variables, which I feel assists the overal understanding of homophily. In regard to reader ease I have consciously thought about the layout, and font size and colour to assist reability and consequently I feel I have met this requirement. I consciously aimed to reduce my sentence length and I feel I successfully managed to increase my Flesch Reading Ease rating. Even so, my reading ease was still lower than the recommended rating. I do not know why I consistently get different ratings on the same writing. I feel the low rate is possibily due to the in-text references and sub-headings. Although I periodically checked the reading ease, my overall rating is much lower than I anticipated. Even so, next time I will endevour to check sentence length during the writing process. Furthermore, my Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level rating was appropriate. Consequently I feel my written expression was appropriate in regard to the requirements.

4. Online Engagement
In relation to this blog I feel I have participated well as a member of the online community. I have made several posts surrounding different themes within social psychology, and I have listed some of my more significant posts below:

Furthermore I have also commented on several other student's blogs, some of which are listed below:

I feel that I increased my contribution as a member of an online community by posting several significant posts and commenting more on other students blogs. I wrote and commented on a variety of topics relating to social psychology and consequently I feel I could not have really added more to this area.

I really enjoyed this type of interaction and felt that I appropriately participated as a member of the online community. I feel this type of communication can actually assist people in expressing their views in a non-threatening environment which can foster personal development and idea growth. Thank you for the opportunity to use this concept as an assessment tool.

2 comments:

James Neill said...

1.Overall, this is a very solid borderline DI-level essay. It has many strong aspects, particularly the online engagement. The main area for improvement is probably in the written expression and somewhat in the organisation of the theories.
2.Abstract?
Good to present this, but would need to work to reach P level.
Write in past tense.
Doesn't say what homophily is.
Lacks specificity (vague).
3.Introduction
The essay takes a while to get into its stride. The first section that seemed to flow was “Homophily History”. The essay could just about have started with this as the introduction.
4.Theory
The sections on causes and theories, I thought, could have been combined – it's not clear how you distinguished between these two sections and there seems to be some theoretical overlap.
A concept map or table could have been used to help organise and communicate your central ideas and their interrelationship without adding to the word count.
The table of personal examples indicated depth of analysis of personal life in relation to the topic.
5.Research
Use of several relevant research studies noted; ideally more research-based references (or organisation/summary of these references used) could have been presented, e.g., possibly included other key review articles and/or meta-analyses.
6.Written Expression
Several instances of awkward expression and spelling/grammar detract from the essay, e.g., the first sentence: “Homophily, (self-love) coined by Lazarsfeld and Merton applies broadly (Currarini, Jackson & Pin, 2007), to the principle that according to McPherson, Smith-Lovin and Cook (2001) “similarity breeds connection” (p. 415).” Similarly, the subsequent sentence (“Homophily exists in daily life structures: marriage, friendship, co-membership, support, advice, work and other relationships (McPherson et al.,).”) could be improved by replacing the colon with “such as”.
Hyperlinks for keywords were very well done and aided readability and contributed to engagement.
Some paragraphs were too long (e.g., Homophily Causes was ~ 250 words; at this size a 1500-word essay would be six paragraphs long!).
Presentation of additional information in appendices enhanced readability.
7.Online Engagement
Honest, indepth self-assessment.
8.Referencing & Citations
High quality APA style.
~10 appropriate references were cited.
No colon after “References”
Heavy reliance on McPherson, et al., although this is a major source, so this is somewhat understandable. Ideally perhaps a second other major resource may also have been identified.

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