Wednesday 21 March 2012

Assessment for Learning

 am just reading The Experience Designer. This is a bit of an alternative view of learning that puts learning in the context of something we do all the time in order to understand the world around us and to buffer our personal world against the confluence of modern life (if he says that once more I will scream). This means that learning is the construction of a narrative. So this is a bit of a terrifying view. To accept this view we would have to make a big step in education to make it less reactive and more adaptive, but this might be too big a change to make and risks the careers of all those who are students during the change. The book sets out to show how e-learning can make this change happen.
I can see the good points but I was reading reviews of the book on Amazon. The first person loved it and thought that it was a paradigm changing book for e-learning. The second said that it was a nice idea but just not practical or realistic. According to that reviewer the critical thing is that we need to assess more to see that learning is happening, but we do need to get away from standardised tests.
Assess more! We have just been reviewing our courses to reduce the amount of assessments and they are suggesting to use more. Of all the things we hate as academics marking must be the most hated part. I am going to use more online assessment for formative feedback during my courses - especially statistics as the students have been struggling with not having more examples that they can do themselves. My perhaps diffident reply is go and find some examples in a textbook - those things we have in the library, the big rooms with books in them. As they are supposed to be independent learners, but they seem to want more hand-holding.

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