|PICTURE BY PABLO GUERRERO AT UNSPLASH|
The recipe is quite simple:
- Take an Intended Learning Outcome (ILO)
- Announce the ILO to students before any learning activity starts
- Design an interesting assessment that tests whether students have achieved the ILO
- Create opportunities for students to explore the issues surrounding the assessment
- Administer the assessment
- Benchmark against agreed and communicated criteria (i.e. mark)
- Provide feedback on the students' performance against the agreed criteria
- Reward yourself with a glass of scotch in the warm glow of satisfaction that your students have developed useful lifelong skills.
So, how do folks get it wrong so often?
- The ILO is written and communicated via the module specification linked to the VLE that students rarely enter.
- The exam is written (more likely cut and pasted from previous exams in the subject)
- The essay questions, so skillfully crafted, test rote learning, memory, and handwriting
- The lectures take place where the knowledge of the Professor almost gets transmitted to the students
- The students revise (which assumes that they have "vised" in the first place) and "sit" the exam
- Marks are awarded on the basis of "I know a first when I see one"
- Feedback is only available after students complain
- The scotch bottle is already empty.