As I am trying to get finish up my grading, issues of assessment and evaluation keep coming up.
Some of the questions/problems/issues I am dealing with include:
Should we be using rubrics? Don't they limit creativity and motivation? My students will only do what is on the rubric. I am restricted to grading them only on the rubric. So some students who just do a mediocre non-creative job may get the same grade (or higher because I used the rubric) than those that used more creativity, not really doing what I outlined as expected, but addressing the problem in a whole new way.
If this is what we are training our future workers to do, we will have the "best" workers (those with the highest grade) doing only what their managers told them to do, thus stifling the possibilities and creativity of our workers.
Should we be telling our students our expectations for every assignment, giving them detailed instructions? How many times have you received detailed instructions on the job? Shouldn't we be creating the skill to negotiate "outcomes" with our superiors? Situations change, factors we can't control require us to change outcomes, and there might be a disconnect between strategists and front line workers. Companies would benefit if workers and managers began to communicate about outcomes be and open to the changing environment.
If graduates only expect to do the work that a manager has outlined for them, an organization loses incentive, ideas, and reality checks from both those at the top and those on the front line.
Should all grading be "fair"? How is "fair" defined and aren't there instances when a standardized means of evaluation is in fact "unfair"? I have students that excel in class. They are engaged, apply concepts or take ideas to new levels. But they don't "evaluate" well. Neither papers nor tests get at their level of understanding that I see in class. They do the work, but it does not translate into their grades. Is this fair? They will be great employees on day. In addition to their academic work, they are good team players, contribute to the class, have a good work ethic, act responsibly in class, and add to an overall good environment. Others that test well are over critical, stifle others ideas, create a negative environment, and really don't do much work, but are good writers and/or good test takers. I'd rather have the ones that don't grade well than those that do grade well. So how fair am I in my assessment?
So, a word of warning to all those in the training and HR departments: make sure you are using other measures to identify the ideal employees. GPA's don't really reflect a student's potential. A word of warning to educators: we need to re-evaluate how we assess in the current climate of "standardization." We may be doing our society a dis-service.
- V Yonkers
- 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.