Thursday, August 23, 2012

Manifesto for Teaching Online - Transforming Assessment

O Manifesto by Katler Dettmann

"Feedback can be digested, worked with, created from. In the absence of this it is just response." 

This is one of the statements from the Manifesto for Teaching Online (Clara O'Shea, 2012) discussed during the presentation: Assessment and the Manifesto for Teaching Online. This was the start of the online Transforming Assessment  webinars series - Rethinking assessment in a participatory digital world - Assessment 2.0. A recording will be available soon on the site.

In this project researchers from the University of Edinburgh investigated writing, assessment and feedback practices in a MSc in E-Learning programme. Students used blogs and wikis for their writing, some was peer-assessed once the students became familiar with how to blog. Clara  also said during her presentation that seeing how others are developing their arguments gives a better sense of how the ideas are unfolding. Feedback has an important role in this process. Affirming feedback as well as questions encourages students to respond more analogically - reflectively.

I also like another statement: "A routine of plagiarism detection structures-in a relation of distrust." Clara believes that students need to be taught how to write well and cite correctly, and a culture of blame is not helpful. She also mentioned that the design of the assessments is key in preventing plagiarism I have to say that I agree. Clara wants us to take the Manifesto apart and discuss the statements....feedback in my opinion needs to stimulate critical thinking and extend students' knowledge and that is why I believe in giving formative feedback on summative assessments. It takes more work but the students are more likely to learn and develop a deeper knowledge of the concepts....more so than they might by just passing.