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Thought-provoking article - I don't see the shift away from "courses as content islands" happening any time soon at my school... why would it? It's the easy way to do things, and the time-honored way too. Do we really think people, both students and faculty alike, who are totally overstressed and overcommitted with zero free time available, are going to experiment with something so new and different... and more difficult? Alas, I don't think so. I made this shift years ago (content subordinated to the teaching of skills - I teach writing through mythology, and there is no final exam asking students to memorize the Labors of Hercules)... but I am still in a tiny minority of faculty at my school who work this way...
quote When courses were about attaining a specific slice of content, every course was an island. Seventeenth-century British literature? Check. The sociology of crime? Check. Cell biology? Check. In this environment, it’s entirely plausible that faculty grading practices would be as different as the topography of each island.  But if courses are expected to function collectively to develop a set of skills and/or dispositions (e.g., complex reasoning, oral and written communication, intercultural competence), then what happens in each course is irrevocably tied to what happens in previous and subsequent courses.  And it follows that the “what” and “how” of grading would be a critical element in creating a smooth transition for students between courses.
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