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Plenary discussion 1

Page history last edited by Jenny Waycott 11 years, 8 months ago

Reporting back on morning group discussions


Group 1 - blogging/microblogging

- good assessment practices

- characteristics of microblogs (status updates): immediacy, ...

- blogs encourage deeper reflections, dialogue between writer of blogs, between instructors and students; sharing feedback as you go ... not just final assignment...

- have to deal with closed system vs public system 

- if it's public you have serendipity where members of the public might comment on students' blogs; authentic real-world activity; students have to come to terms with the fact that it is public, that they have to write for a public audience...

- feedback - different techniques used: printing and marking as normal assignment; with blogs and twitter you can make supportive comments as they go; assessors have to watch what they say in this public forum as well (eg., not appropriate to comment on grammar, spelling, make criticisms in public forum)

- make it very clear to students what the purpose of the tool is... comes back to why you're asking students to do this


Group 2 - blogging/microblogging

- could just say 'ditto' - a lot of the issues are the same

- diverse way of using wikis...

- same academic standards are still important

- process is transparent...

- authenticity/simulation of real-world activities; these are some of the things they could be doing in the real world...

- criterion-referenced assessment should be available to students prior to undertaking task

- individual or group assessment; clarify the task, objectives, attributes - have that all clearly linked; we can track that quite well.

- control issue - group work - do we want students to have that space completely for their use (e.g., lecture notes - students editing lecture notes).

- public vs private - private kept the students safe...

- like the idea of having students submit their work to wikipedia and the public judges whether it is correct...


Group 3 - photo/video file-sharing

- ditto again

- trust well-resourced academic to do their job - their job is to maintain academic standards...

- how we can ensure creativity

- take a well-developed task and then move to the technology to expand the task; new technology enable a range of tasks; consuming, reflecting, producing, etc.

- important to remember that students have different motivations; not all students want to engage in the transformative power of web 2 technologies.

- students should be able to fail and should be able to get a HD

- inter-disciplinarity is important... getting students to do more humanities/art-style tasks (reflecting, etc)

- integrity: quality assurance; intrinsic motivation for students.

- web 2 enables intrinsic motivation, facilitates integrity because students take ownership of the work they produce - it's public, shared with other students, not just with the assessor.


Group 4 - social networking

- what's this about? any environment that allows a community to share things and to flourish - e.g., listserves, email groups - open definition...

- how social should social be? link between openness and social aspect and how serious a task would be taken... how do we ensure that formality matches criticality?

- ratings systems; more formal systems - calibrated peer review - students are able to assess each other quite well and quite acurately;

- teacher needs to be well engaged; shared understanding between students and teachers about task and assessment.

- how big or small did public have to be?

- increasing lack of control; opportunities here for highly individualised assessment; if you relinquish control do you increase opportunities for plagiarism

- raised issue of bringing ideas together; user-tagging, meta-data, aggregating knowledge

- efficiencies - great opportunity to facilitate assessment, take the burden away from teachers...

- potential assessment for peer review - could be lecturer to mark students' review of another students' work; get students to engage in critically reviewing


Group 5 - social bookmarking

- discussed what social bookmarking was; unlike all the other technologies discussed; more of a tool than a process

- to what extent does it come under the topic...

- how much can you assess beyond tool/software

- asking a student to do a reflection on their use of the tool might be more appropriate to assess - rather than just their use of the tool.

- private/public issues: social bookmarking difficult to do in-house; inevitably in the public sphere...

- how would you assess student work on social bookmarking?

- what academic standards ... e.g., referencing

- authenticating issues; identifying contributions

- unless we're assessing the number of tools they could use... not really an assessment task

- assessing comments might be more appropriate...


Group 6 - podcasting

- podcasting is an activity with a larger technical overhead and particularly with vodcasting; when video editing is involved

- case of students devoting so much time and energy to learn the tool, it takes away from elements of the task you are trying to assess

- citation of sources is a challenge; alternative ways of citing sources for scholarship; how to we go about attributing different sources throughout the podcast - given the podcast is audio recording - message at the end? how do students acknowledge specific ideas throughout the podcast.

- language conventions: spoken format of the podcast; what degree of formality/informality is permissable?

- good assessment is good assessment.

- principles like critical alignment, timely feedback, transparency...

- some academics interpret web 2 as entirely open and open-ended, up to students to drive it; but there is still a need for scaffolding.

- digital and video recording aren't new; when placed on the internet there are problems and issues; how the open forum of the internet (platform of itunesU)...

- comment: alternative means of citing sources (is this needed?) We have this idea that we don't have to use referencing standards when presenting something orally; lecturers should model good practice. Principle is the same - need to acknowledge ideas - but the way you do it might be different - we should all be doing 'in-text citations' in oral presentations...

- there are integrated means of presenting other information (e.g., powerpoint file, etc)

- important issue relating to language; this is not just limited to podcasting - also important for other web 2 activities (blogging, etc)

- perhaps the style of writing/presenting that needs referencing is more appropriate for an essay rather than a podcast...


Group 7 - virtual worlds

- what are virtual worlds? Best known at the moment is Second Life...

- mostly good for things like simulation; can also be used as a platform for interaction for people dispersed in geographical space.

- not the case that students/young people are all going to be into virtual worlds/gaming.

- lesson design and assessment are critically important to get students engaged in the technology.

- general assessment principles still apply

- use of the technology should be driven by the learning; course design, clear objectives, being able to demonstrate deep learning.

- process that students go through; virtual worlds provide an experiential aspect, social aspect; there need to be clear objectives in terms of participation and production at the end of the process.

- reflection on what students are doing needs to be build into tasks

- tasks within the virtual world often integrate learning and assessment

- example of students interviewing people in second life - students would go to virtual space, interviewee would show them around, introduce to the space; students use this information to develop a news report; students then engage in a chat-show style interview; all interviewees were native chinese speakers or learners of chinese language. Referencing was not an issue in this example; students were gathering the information themselves. Video, audio and written outcome used for assessment.

- rubrics; very clear criteria for what students have to achieve. 

- student-teacher negotiated rubric might be the way to go in the future.

- if students are working to the rubric, you may have situation where all students have achieved high standards; how do explain that?


Comments (2)

Bill.Anderson said

at 2:18 pm on Nov 23, 2009

These summaries are a great illustration of what Tom wrote earlier ... 'significant changes to the ways assessment is undertaken' partly as a result of the 'new affordances offered by Web 2.0'. The morning has identified a number of very interesting mixes of affordances and activities, and associated issues, that I have enjoyed reading (thanks to all).

I'd like to complement Tom’s view with three questions (there may be more). They are the questions “Who assesses?” “What is being assessed?” and “What’s the goal of the assessment?” The integrative and more general (i.e. not technology specific) nature of the afternoon discussion seems to require a change of tack. Each of the five assessment stages identified calls for clear answers to the questions above. Perhaps what’s more important is getting the mix right... i.e. making sure that the goal, the ‘what’ and the ‘who’ are aligned.

Jenny Waycott said

at 2:37 pm on Nov 23, 2009

Thanks for your comments Bill. I'll try to share these with the other participants here this afternoon.

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