05 August 2015

Items to Share: 2 August 2015

Apologies for running late!

Education Focus
  • Is ‘understanding’ a thing? | Clio et cetera 'I have no doubt at all that some will take issue with this, and it is not at all my intention to play down the importance of learning about abstract or disciplinary concepts: to the contrary, I think learning about these things is very important. What I want to suggest, however, is that we need to employ a version of Ockham’s Razor when talking about curriculum and assessment. It is already hard enough! Making ‘understanding’ a thing serves to obfuscate what we are actually talking about. If we mean ‘knows how to do or apply something’, then we are talking about knowledge, or knowing how. Otherwise, we are almost certainly talking about ‘knowing-that’ at a variety of levels of complexity.'

  • Everything Is Problematic, University Explains -- NYMag 'The University of New Hampshire has a “Bias-Free Language Guide.” As the document assures its readers, it “is not meant to represent absolute requirements of language use.” [...] So the guide should be understood not as an attempt at censorship, which would be illegal, but as a cutting-edge statement of p.c. language norms. It indicates that the list of terms that can give offense has grown quite long indeed.' (The guide has now apparently been retracted.)

  • The importance of rubrics in higher education advances | Higher Education Academy '[T]he common understanding of the word rubric [...] is essentially any set of criteria [...] which assists in measuring engagement of students with the learning outcomes and aims of teaching. [...] if properly constructed, the use of rubrics can have a number of benefits for learning and teaching at a higher education level. One of the main benefits highlighted, was that rubrics help to ensure that the assessment of engagement with teaching material is carried out in a clear, open and fair manner. With a well constructed rubric, any assessment represents the learning and teaching that has been undertaken, and it is clear to both staff and students how any engagement will be measured, from the outset of learning process.'
  • Narrative in the Classroom | Vitae '[W]ork to integrate storytelling into your lectures. Research the history of your discipline so you can tell the stories of great discoveries. Frame important concepts not just in terms of abstract ideas, but also in terms of the specific problems those concepts were introduced to solve. Create mysteries for your students: Present a problem and introduce protagonists in search of a solution. The essential engine of a narrative — “what’s going to happen next?” — is a great weapon in any teacher’s arsenal.'

  • Why blog your field work? | patter 'A lot of people tell me that they are worried about posting about research that is so clearly work in progress. But I want to convince you that there are some good reasons to do so, particularly if you’re doing qualitative work with real live people.

  • Principled Assessment Design by Dylan Wiliam | The Wing to Heaven 'Last year I read Principled Assessment Design by Dylan Wiliam, which is [...] helpful for anyone looking to design a replacement for national curriculum levels. [I]t packs a lot in – there are useful definitions and explanations of validity, reliability, and common threats to validity. There are two areas in particular I want to comment on here: norm-referencing and multiple-choice questions. These are two aspects of assessment which people are often quite prejudiced against, but Wiliam shows there is some evidence in favour of them.'

  • Have I Become an Educated Rita? - Advice - The Chronicle of Higher Education 'I am forced to conclude that whatever creativity I once possessed has been diminished by the process of formal learning. Not long ago I was speaking with a talented student of my own and was dazzled by his ability to make leaps between the contents of his courses and his own varied reading. For him, Alexander the Great and Alexandre Dumas, econometrics and everyday life, existed in the same plane. They spoke to each other and informed each other. I was wowed by the excitement and movement of his thought. But I was also dismayed — because I, too, used to think like that, and it hurt to reflect that I could do so no more. [ ] Some of this intellectual narrowing is, of course, simply endemic to the academic enterprise.'
Other Business
  • The Browser - Accenture And The End Of Appraisal 'In the space of a minute [the head of Accenture] said something wonderful: he is going to free all 330,000 of his staff from the charade of the annual job appraisal. “We are not sure that spending all that time in performance management has been yielding such a great outcome,” he told the Washington Post. “Once a year [I] share with you what I think of you. That doesn’t make any sense. People want to know … am I doing all right? Nobody’s going to wait for an annual cycle to get that feedback.” The most extraordinary thing about this blast of common sense is that it comes from Accenture, which over the years has delivered some world-class, paradigm-busting drivel.'

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments welcome, but I am afraid I have had to turn moderation back on, because of inappropriate use. Even so, I shall process them as soon as I can.