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I use blogging to assess whether students are following what we read, but I do not grade them. I give them a choice of three questions that require some inference or analysis. I give a grade on the last few blogs by which time they have improved significantly.
I also try and build in practice assignments that mirror the skills I will assess in the summative. Example: we were doing a summative assessment of writing a narrative from two perspectives. We did a formative on the Magna Carta: King John and the Barons, gave feedback, and then a summative on the Declaration of Independence (either patriots/loyalists or colonists/British). Another formative along the way was using the 5 point narrative structure to write a quick biography of themselves.
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