Who would be best suited to provide an assessment of a person's learning of a subject? And by best suited I mean; has a strong and current understanding of the subject, is most interested in the subject, and has a strong motivation (pedagogically) to provide meaningful assessment of a learners work!
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- Not sure I understand your question or the rationale for asking it. Which educational stakeholders are you considering exactly? Do you mean any types of assessment (i.e., summative/formative assessment)?Feb 2, 2013
- Thanks for chiming in Benjamin. Great questions... I'm asking to create some discussion. I'm thinking about flipping assessment, probably more from a formative perspective. I'm thinking that those who are closest and most current with a subject would be best at assessment. Also think it could be good for continuous online learning environments to have beginners assess the work of people nearing mastery. As masters I mean those who are close to "finishing" their mastery of a subject with a knowledge domain. I also think beginners would benefit from assessing the work of someone just about finishing their studies of a shared subject of interest. Both would get "credit" for completing the assessment event. Maybe have three beginners assess the work of one master. And the master needs to encourage beginners to assess their work, engage the learning community outside their direct peers. Could be part of a continuous "rolling" online learning environment. Wondering if there is research in this capacity.Feb 2, 2013
- Thanks for that explanation. One thing that I would consider is that just because one is close to the subject or is an expert, doesn't necessarily mean that this same person can provide the types of formative assessment that assists learners. I've been in lectures where teachers really know their stuff, but just couldn't explain it (let alone assess it in a way that facilitated the learning process); I would guess that the same might go for those experts in their respective fields who have less experience in education.
I agree that getting novices into the assessment process is a good idea (self and peer-assessment as well as assessing from an expert), but there are many considerations.
For formative assessment (assessments for learning), it is not enough to recognize good work, but how this recognition leads to guiding the learner to improved practice in the future. Another way to look at it is to see now the novice, for example, is able to assist (i.e., teach) someone else to produce better work going forward. Also, can the novice learner suggest new learning tactics to the other person in a way that leads to a better performance?
Besides formative assessments, assessments of learning (summative assessments) might also be considered. How do learners assess what their peers have learned up to now? Qualitatively and/or quantitatively? Along these same lines, how would an expert in the field come into the learning environment and do the same? Would an expert assessing student work be more productive conducting summative or formative assessments? Would they be prepared to do such assessments?
I've conducted some research in how English language learners self and peer assess (with no intervention from anyone else) and have concluded that the participants were able to learn a lot on their own. The objective is to see what students can learn on their own and as a teacher, intervene when needed, to find those "teachable moments" if you will.
I completely agree that connecting the classroom to the global community should be our ultimate objective, whether from an instructional or assessment standpoint. Thanks for your post and allowing me work through my ideas as I see them at this particular moment. :)
Feb 2, 2013
- How does that learning experience become a digital learning resource for others from the point of view of the novice>expert that will be re-playable in 10 years time?Feb 2, 2013
- Outstanding response. A deep thanks for making the effort. Everything you say here aligns well with what I was also thinking.
The idea of the professor or expert not being able to provide assessment for whatever reason was a big part of my thinking. I believe that often professors or experts focus is elsewhere, rather than on an undergraduate level subject. They may also not be so current with the subject as knowledge domains change quickly. I was really thinking the cohort of novice, master, and seasoned learners combined with teaching assistants would be the most current and focused within the given learner context. The experts and professors would provide guidance.
I really wasn't thinking that peers or novices would provide the complete assessment, they would become a part of the assessment "team". All this would spread the assessment around and build it into the learning process itself, where assessment is conducted by the "whole" cohort.
I particularly like the idea of novices assessing those learners just one or two steps ahead in the learning journey. Therefore, what they are assessing is never to advanced. It would also encourage learning cohorts to spread a little wider and have a greater over all depth of learning within them.
Again, thanks so much for chiming in. Great discussion.Feb 3, 2013
- The idea of a re-playable learning event sits well with me. It was a part of Google Wave I thought would have been very useful... maybe re-playable knowledge construction will appear in some other product?Feb 3, 2013
- Good question...10 years is a long time when it comes to technology. My guess is that the learning experience will transform over the course of 10 years to something we probably cannot imagine. At least I can't imagine it. :)Feb 3, 2013