Sunday, 3 May 2009

Is this real teaching?

An Open Letter to my Students by Dean Shareski (Web Link)

"Because of institutional requirements and societal norms, I’m required to give you a grade. This grade falls between 0-100 and in some way is intended to inform you and others how well you did in this course. The importance that number is given is appalling. While I do my best to provide you with some outcomes, indicators, rubrics and feedback I still feel my assessment of your learning is fairly trivial or at best a thin slice indicator of what you’ve learned. I realize many would love to believe that the number or grade you get is pure, accurate and will provide future instructors, institutions or employers an indication of your proficiency, understanding or knowledge. If anyone of these groups were to ask me about you, I could tell them what I’ve seen and observed. That may have value, the grade, not so much." And much more here.

And then there's this:

Professor makes his mark, but it costs him his job (Web Link)

"It was not his job, as he explained later, to rank their skills for future employers, or train them to be “information transfer machines,” regurgitating facts on demand. Released from the pressure to ace the test, they would become “scientists, not automatons,” he reasoned." And then it gets really interesting

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