Blogging for responsible designers


Assessment type:


Learning outcome:



Blogging for responsible designers is an ipsative assessment method that increases the students' awareness of how values affect design and design processes, and improves their confidence and proficiency in working with values in design. The aim is to develop students’ critical analysis through multiple resources. Via a series of blog posts, the students can share ideas and make their learning explicit, and visible to a community of practice, and thereby stimulate peer-learning.


Blogging for responsible designers as an ipsative assessment method enables reflection through communicating with others and supports the students in collaboratively constructing knowledge. A blog (abbreviated from "web log") is a website where people publish short items on a continuing basis. A blog can have one author or many. Blog entries (posts) display in reverse chronological order (that is, the most recent post displays highest on the page). Authors can embed hyperlinks, images, videos and podcasts in the content of the post, and can leave a section at the bottom of each post open for readers' comments (UNSW, accessed 12 May 2021).

By writing and assessing blog posts the students develop higher order learning in which the students can manage their own learning process.

Through the ipsative assessment, the acquired attitudes are thus made explicit, and visible to the students, which both increases the students interest and ownership in learning and provides opportunities for diverse perspectives.

This assessment activity allows for the teacher to see whether the intended learning outcomes of the teaching activity have been achieved by asking the students to write a series of blog posts based on the suggested assessment criteria listed in the teaching activity.

By asking students to write blog posts on the basis of specified assessment criteria, the teacher can assess students' acquired attitudes in relation to values in design such as tensions in their design, identified harms and benefits, etc.


Parallel to the on-going teaching activity, ask the students to set up a blog and write blog posts demonstrating their attitudes about values in design. Ask students to focus their blog posts on targeting the specified assessment criteria.

Instructions to the students:

Step 1:

  • Create a series of blog posts during the course (or semester, or lessons) containing your thoughts and reflection about topics related to values in design.

Step 2:

  • Your blog should be a sort of a reflective journal where you focus on exploring your learning experience and process. When writing, consider the themes introduced in the teaching activity.

Step 3:

  • You may include hyperlinks, images, videos and podcasts in the blog posts. You may also give the reader the option to comment on the blog posts.

Step 4:

  • To encourage questions from your blog's reader, pose questions that act as a catalyst for reflection.

The following steps, are optional:

Step 5:

  • Read the other students' blogs and provide comments.

Step 6:

  • Return to your blog and read through all the comments provided by others, to deepen and broaden your knowledge.


In this assessment activity, it is important to focus on the students' attitudes in order to capture and address the “visible signs of learning”. When doing an ipsative assessment the focus is on whether the students are able to explain, identify or realise important learning experiences that over time created progress in the learning in relation to the intended learning outcomes and relevant assessment criteria. An ipsative assessment provides the teacher with information on the depth, breadth and recurring patterns related to the progress of student's learning. That is, are the students able to make visible the attitudes that they have acquired over time.

When reviewing the students’ blog posts, it might be helpful to pay attention to the following optional proposals for focus points depending on the content of the related teaching activity:

  • To what extent do the students meet the assessment criteria listed in the teaching activity?
  • Are there obvious elements related to obtaining an attitude that the students did not talk about, or elements that are described particularly strong/weak?

For further professional development consider:

  • Are there specific learning outcomes or assessment criteria that students are particularly successful/unsuccessful in demonstrating?
  • Are there any exemplary blogs that work particularly well in addressing the intended learning outcomes and assessment criteria (consider sharing these with the students)?


UNSW Sydney (2021) Assessing with Blogs. Retrieved 2021-05-21 from