Saturday, 18 November 2006

Hypermedia and the need for a rethink of evaluation

As formats for presentation of work change, there is an associated need to adjust criteria for evaluation to adequately appreciate advances in learning, and which also encourages students to experiment with such new formats. 

Landow raises a few points on this subject:

- 'Dissatisfaction with American secondary school students' abiliity to think critically has recently led to a new willingness to try evaluative methods that emphasize conceptual skills,... rather than those that stress simple data acquisition.' This is a move currently echoed in the British SecEd systems, to varying degrees of success. A good case study can be seen in schools in Jersey, who have integrated critical thinking in their syllabus in a big way.

- 'Instructors will have to recognise that several correct answers may exist for a single problem and that such mulitiplicity of answers does not indicate that the assigned problem is subjective or that any answer will do.' This raises a concern for consistency of evaluation.

- 'Skill at formulating possible explanations and hypothesizing significant relations counts as much as factual knowledge alone'. Very interesting, more on this later...

- In terms of the wider dissemination of knowledge and learning, a piece of work that is linked and layered with other relevant studies becomes far more valuable for other people than it would if it was just kept as a desktop file one or two people's laptop. The work becomes something that's 'out there', rather than stored away gathering dust.

No comments: