About Me

Education, the knowledge society, the global market all connected through technology and cross-cultural communication skills are I am all about. I hope through this blog to both guide others and travel myself across disciplines, borders, theories, languages, and cultures in order to create connections to knowledge around the world. I teach at the University level in the areas of Business, Language, Communication, and Technology.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

How to assess learning in different contexts

One problem that I see in the transition from school to the workplace is the question of assessment. My students complain when they don't agree with my grading, asking "how they lost points." How does this translate into the workplace? How often have we had performance reviews that we might not agree with? How much negotiation then goes into the final review? How does this translate into "action"? What is the accountability of the managers (rather than the individual). I think you won't be seeing a comparable move towards manager accountability that you now see in schools (it now has infiltrated universities so now professors are accountable for student learning rather than the "adult" students). So what will that mean for the transition to the workplace?

Already, we begin to see businesses complaining that new graduates do not take initiative, do not have critical thinking skills, and have a poor work ethic. However, teachers and schools are not entirely to blame for this. The curriculum is developed with many stakeholders in mind (including those business leaders demanding more accountability). Even within corporate training, the model of discreet testing (pre-test, post-test) is being used to measure the effectiveness of a program. Hasn't the corporate world learned in using surveys for marketing research that it is not what a person puts on a piece of paper but what their behavior is? Coca-cola learned that in the 1980's. They use the same complex models when analyzing training outcomes.

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